Passing of Emeritus Professor Peter Spradbrow (AVPA Life member)


It is with deep regret that the AVPA advises of the passing of one of it’s long serving members Peter Spradbrow. A few old photos from the AVPA archives show Peter at the 1974 Australasian Poultry Science Convention, Hobart and (top right photo below) with past and present AVPA members at the 1983 AVPA 1st Asian-Pacific Poultry Health Conference, Manly).

An email today (31 March 2017) from Dr Vivien Kite provides a fitting tribute to Peter’s contribution to poultry disease research amongst many other fields of endeavour.



“Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I advise of the passing of Emeritus Professor Peter Spradbrow. Prof Spradbrow passed away this morning.

Many in the industry, the poultry research community and the vaccine world will have known Peter and be aware of the immense contribution he made to poultry health internationally, particularly through his work on Newcastle disease.

Over a career spanning 33 years at the University of Queensland’s School of Veterinary Science, Peter was associated with the early recognition of many avian viruses in Australia (leukosis viruses, Marek’s disease virus, turkey herpesvirus, adenoviruses, reoviruses, infectious bursal disease virus). He took particular interest in Newcastle disease virus, however, after the isolation of the V4 strain in 1966, and in the possibility of using this strain as a vaccine. He spearheaded research that led to the development of a thermostable Newcastle disease vaccine suitable for protecting village chickens in developing countries against Newcastle disease, and his subsequent work had resulted in a sustainable Newcastle disease control model that is an effective solution for alleviating poverty for the most vulnerable in resource-poor regions.

Professor Spradbrow’s work and many contributions have been recognised by numerous awards, including, in 1995, the Clunies Ross Medal for Science and Technology, Member of the Order of Australia, the AIDAB Award for Excellence in Overseas Aid, the Kesteven Medal of the Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian Poultry Award in 2005.

He was a wonderful mentor to many in the industry and research community.

Any of us who knew Peter recognised him to be one of life’s greatest gentlemen. We mourn his loss and recognise the great contribution he has made.

Our thoughts are with Peter’s wife Gwen and his family and friends.



Vivien Kite | Executive Director | Australian Chicken Meat Federation
T: 02-9929 4077 | |

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