Harold William Bennetts

From Wikipedia

Harold William Bennetts CBE (18 July 1898 – 28 August 1970) was a Veterinary surgeon known for his ground-breaking research into diseases and pathogens of livestock, especially the toxic effects of some native Australian plants.

Early life and education

Born in Carlton, Victoria. he studied veterinary science at the University of Melbourne, earning his Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 1919, [1] and a Masters the following year. In 1921 he began working for the Commonwealth Department of Health as a bacteriologist. [2]


In 1925 Bennetts took up a position as veterinary pathologist for the Western Australian Department of Agriculture. While based at Avondale Agricultural Research Station he achieved worldwide recognition for his work identifying Bacillus ovitoxicus, and developing the enterotoxaemia vaccine, for which he received a CBE. [3]

Awards and recognition

In 1957 he received the Australian Veterinary Association Gilruth Prize and his DVSc in 1931. [4]

In conjunction with Charles Gardner, his work on the toxic effects on livestock of some Western Australian plants resulted in the highly regarded book The Toxic Plants of Western Australia being published in 1956. [5]


  1. ^ "SOLDIER STUDENTS". The Argus. Melbourne. 16 September 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 22 September 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Maughan, Julie (1993). "Bennetts, Harold William (1898–1970)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN  1833-7538. Retrieved 26 October 2007 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  3. ^ Edwards, Natalie (December 2009), "From Beverley disease to Braxy to enterotoxaemia: the journey of a disease in Western Australian livestock and the transmission of veterinary knowledge in Australasia", Historical Records of Australian Science, 20 (2): 191–207, doi: 10.1071/hr09010, ISSN  0727-3061
  4. ^ "Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences". 13 August 2021.
  5. ^ Gardner, C. A. (Charles Austin); Bennetts, H. W. (Harold William) (1956), The toxic plants of Western Australia, West Australian Newspapers, Periodicals Division, retrieved 19 May 2012

Published works

  • Western Australia. Dept. of Agriculture. Library. H.W. Bennetts : bibliography of published works, 1923–60. held at Battye Library