Saskatchewan SPCA board member Peg Northcote presents Dr. Ernest Olfert with the Phil & Muriel Baines Humanitarian Award. Saskatchewan SPCA Photo.

Sask. SPCA recognizes WCVM alumnus

At The Link Conference on September 21, 2017, the Saskatchewan SPCA presented the Phil and Muriel Baines Humanitarian Award to Dr. Ernest Olfert. He was recognized for his contributions to animal welfare in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

By Saskatchewan SPCA

Olfert has been a veterinarian and voice for animal welfare in Saskatchewan since the 1970s. Olfert attended the University of Saskatchewan as part of the first Western College of Veterinary Medicine’s graduating class. As a Saskatchewan native, Olfert chose to stay in the province following his 1969 graduation. In 1970 he began his 40-year career at the U of S. He filled many different roles while employed at the university, including veterinarian, researcher, teacher and author.

Involvement with the Saskatchewan SPCA

Olfert has been a Saskatchewan SPCA supporter and contributor for many years. He served on the board of directors off and on for over 30 years, beginning in the early 1970s. Olfert held the positions of president, vice-president and advisory member.

National and international recognition

Olfert has been recognized both nationally and internationally for his work. He has been honoured with a long line of national awards including the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award in 1991, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, and the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year in 2005.

His pioneering work on experimental animal care in Canada has gained him international attention. He was the lead editor for the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. In the years since its publication, the guide has been established as a key tool for the humane treatment of lab animals worldwide. Olfert also played a large role in the release of an online training course for animal users that was published through the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Olfert retired from the University of Saskatchewan veterinarian position in 2011.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2018 edition of The Humanitarian, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan SPCA.