University of Pretoria honours researcher

The University of Pretoria conferred the honorary doctor’s degree in Veterinary Science on Prof Naudé in acknowledgement of the contributions he has made as researcher to the scientific disciplines of toxicology and pharmacology, but also for the role that his work has played in the promotion of animal health and animal production. These are two key factors in the assurance of food safety and security for the growing population of South Africa.

Theunis Willem Naudé was born and bred in Pretoria and received his tertiary education at the University of Pretoria – first in Veterinary Science and later in Biochemistry.

Early in his career, he already showed significant interest in nature, which led to his commitment tot studying poisonous South African plants as a field of study – the field where he made his biggest scientific contribution. He began his career as a government veterinary surgeon, after which he in 1961 requested to be transferred to the Toxicology Section of the then Research Institute for Veterinary Science of the Department of Agriculture.

Here he soon became the Assistant Director and Head of the section, and later the Deputy Director of the Institute. In 1984, he moved to the Faculty of Veterinary Science, where he was a professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology until his retirement in 1992.

His most important scientific contribution was the isolation of the toxic substance in irid, one of the economically most important poisonous plants in South Africa, which causes large losses amongst livestock yearly. He was, however, also involved in many other investigations on animal poisoning and was the co-author of the book Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa, which is considered to be the most authoritative work in this field.

His versatility as a scientist is obvious in the contribution he made to the establishment of the aqua culture in South Africa. After an extended study tour overseas, his reports and popular articles on the subject helped to establish the young industry. His research on the permissible level of poisonous plant seeds in corn that is destined for human consumption, as well as his pioneering work on endocrine disruptors – chemical materials that appear at very low concentrations in food and other products – also contributed directly to human health.

He also played a leading role in the acceptance of international standards for the registration of veterinary medicine in South Africa. He was the first technical advisor that was responsibile for the registration of stock remedies in accordance with Act 36 of 1947.

Since 1974, he has been a member of the Scheduling Committee of the Medicine Board of Control which was started in accordance with Act 101 of 1965. With the establishment of the Veterinary Committee of the Medicinal Board of Control in 1983, he was chosen as Chairman and he continued to serve on the committee from 1987 until his retirement.

As committee member and later President of the SA Veterinary Association, he especially campaigned for good relationships with the pharmaceutical industry and with the medical profession as partners in this field.

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2024. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences