Australian Embassy


PRESS RELEASE 26 April 2006


Hanoi - Dr John Copland, a Research Program Manager with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), today was awarded the Medal for Agriculture and Rural Development in recognition of his services to Vietnamese agriculture.

The medal was presented to Dr Copland by the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Bui Ba Bong, in the presence of Mr Bill Tweddell, the Australian Ambassador.

Dr Copland has been involved in more than a decade of ACIAR-funded animal health and rodent control research in Vietnam. The major areas of research have been the development of a vaccine to control Newcastle disease in village chickens, the diagnosis and control of duck plague, research on vaccines against fowl cholera, training in many aspects of veterinary microbiology and studies on classical swine fever.

As a result of the research carried out by the National Veterinary Company (NAVETCO) and the University of Queensland, supported by ACIAR, NAVETCO was able to produce and register a vaccine, known as the Australia Vietnam Friendship vaccine, to control Newcastle disease which is now sold to other countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos.

Another major successful animal health partnership, supported by ACIAR, was the development of an improved vaccine for duck plague, which is now registered for use in Vietnam.

One of the last projects developed by Dr Copland in collaboration with Dr Nguyen Van Bo, Vice President of the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was a project to research avian influenza in ducks in Vietnam and Indonesia. The Vietnamese partners in the project are the National Institute of Veterinary Research and the Department of Animal Health. The project is part of Vietnam’s major effort to control bird flu.

Rodents are one of the major constraints to rice production in Southeast Asia. In recent years, Dr Copland’s program has been responsible for successful projects on rodent control in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam.

“Dr Copland is a good example of Australian scientists who have been working with Vietnam and making significant contributions to Vietnamese agriculture as well as to Australia’s development assistance program in Vietnam”, said Mr Bill Tweddell.
Dr Copland’s contribution to veterinary science was recognised in Australia recently when he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2006 Australia Day honours.

Dr Copland joined ACIAR in 1983 as the first research program coordinator for livestock and later established the ACIAR fisheries program. In addition, he laid the foundations for the second livestock program in ACIAR.


For further information please contact

Misha Coleman
ACIAR Country Manager - Vietnam
ACIAR – Australian Embassy
8 Dao Tan, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Phone: 84 4 831 7755 ext 202
Fax: 84 4 831 7707