A native of Scotland who contributed much to the eradication of disease in the livestock of his adopted country.
Because of the outstanding ability that he displayed as a veterinary practitioner and as a writer on veterinary topics, Dr. Rutherford was summoned to Ottawa in 1902 to organize the veterinary services division of the Department of Agriculture. In 1904 he became Canada’s first Veterinary Director General, and two years later, assumed the added duties of Livestock Commissioner.
While serving in these capacities he was responsible for the establishment of the Pathological Division and the Biological Laboratory. He was one of the first to become concerned about the spread of tuberculosis from cattle to humans and took appropriate action by initiating a program for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis.
Following his retirement in 1912, he was appointed superintendent of Animal Industry and Agriculture for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Six years later he resigned to become a railway commissioner, during which he helped to resolve current problems associated with inspection and transportation of grain.