Couture, Joseph-Alphonse

Joseph-Alphonse Couture, veterinarian (b at Ste-Claire, Qué 15 Dec 1850; d at Québec C 12 Mar 1922). He served in the Canadian militia 1866-68 against the FENIANS and then in the Papal ZOUAVES in Italy 1868-70. Bilingual, he entered the anglophone Montreal Veterinary College in 1870 and was granted a veterinary degree from McGill in 1873, becoming one of Canada's first francophone veterinarians. He lectured and gave demonstrations in animal anatomy to French-speaking students at the Montreal Veterinary College 1876-78. Posted to Québec City as a federal veterinary inspector in 1878, he was superintendent of the Animal Quarantine Station at Lévis 1879-1922. He organized this major gateway for purebred livestock imported into Canada to prevent the introduction of epidemic infectious diseases and protect exports of Canadian live animals and animal products.

Couture produced the first Canadian textbook on breeding and livestock diseases in 1882. A gifted communicator, he wrote in agricultural journals and spoke at farmer's meetings to support and defend Canadian livestock breeds. Under the pseudonym of Jérôme Aubry he also contributed fiery columns on current religious and sociopolitical issues of the early 1900s in La Vérité, an influential weekly owned by J.P. TARDIVEL.