Job Overview

Summary

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works in a variety of ways to protect and improve animal health, welfare, quality, and the marketability of our nation's animals, animal products, and veterinary biologics. As part of this, APHIS is responsible for upholding and enforcing the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act, Animal Health Protection Act, Animal Welfare Act including, Retail Pet Store Regulation, Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act, Horse Protection Act, Honey Bee Act, and Virus Serum Toxin Act.

Use the following links to learn more about APHIS's Veterinary Services Program and Animal Care Program

APHIS employs Veterinary Medical Officers in every state across the country. As an applicant, you will be asked to express interest in states you want to work.  More information about specific duty locations and requirements will be available if selected for an interview.

Current vacancies in APHIS for a Veterinary Medical Officer are located in the Veterinary Services - Abilene, TX and Salt Lake County (City TBD), UT.  A vacancy also exists in Animal Care - Little Rock, AR.

The intent of this job posting is to collect applications and establish a list of eligible, qualified candidates that can be referred to fill potential vacant positions in the next 90-120 days.  It is difficult to predict if or when a specific state or location will have a vacancy, but we encourage you to apply as vacancies may become available.  When the Human Resources office receives a request to fill a Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) position in a specific state, we will send a list of qualified applicants that have selected the matching state to the hiring manager for review and selection.  Although all states are listed in the job announcement, it does not mean that all locations have a vacant position.   Once you are referred for a vacant position, your application status will be updated on USAJobs.  Please check your application status periodically.
 
Salary Information: First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

Duties

The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

The incumbent serves as a Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) within an assigned geographic responsibility for the full range of inspections designed to promote animal health through, disease detection and diagnosis, analysis, control, eradication, and animal welfare through compliance reviews to assess humane animal handling and care, as well as the animal health and care activities within counties and states. Depending on the assignment, the incumbent may be assigned details to both foreign and domestic locations to perform similar duties.

Assignments may involve (1) developing and revising medical, program, and inspection procedures to safely and securely handle animals exposed to contagious diseases and properly release or quarantine animals with disease risks; (2) inspecting animals for evidence of disease conditions and to assess health status, diagnosing clinical symptoms of suspect animals, advising regulated persons on avenues for seeking treatment for animals in need of care, and recommending preventive care that can be taken; (3) inspecting animals, facilities, and records for compliance with federal laws related to animal health and welfare, (4) certifying the health of animals and their by-products to be exported to other countries, and (5) collaborating with local, state, and federal officials with similar responsibilities involving the oversight of animal health and welfare.  Specific duties may include:

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducts evaluations of animal health program operations that are experiencing herd or flock disease problems to determine the solutions needed in the form of veterinary medical or program procedural adjustments or modifications. 
  • Schedules and accomplishes inspections, evaluations, and surveillance activities to assess animal health and welfare, compliance with federal laws, and follow up on public and/or industry complaints involving disease risks and animal welfare.  Recommends options for obtaining veterinary care, promoting animal health and welfare, and achieving compliance with federal laws. Prepares reports summarizing animal inspections, and evaluations of surveillance activities and findings. 
  • Ensures accredited state, and attending veterinarians administering care to regulated animals properly interpret and apply federal health standards, and complete, maintain, and/or submit accurate records pertaining to federal health and welfare requirements. Reviews animal health status, provides professional assessment and recommendations to promote animal health and welfare for animals cover by APHIS laws, and assess animal products and by products for export from or import to the United States and determines compliance with requirements. 
  • Reviews research protocols at research facilities including addressing the pain and suffering of animals.  This includes evaluating the extent of the suffering in relation to the successful accomplishment of the research and assures that any unnecessary pain and distress is prevented through anesthetics, analgesics, tranquilizers and euthanasia. 
  • Conducts licensing inspection and monitors surveillance systems of establishments involved in handling restricted animals, birds, valuable breeding stock, zoo animals, exotic birds, and products such as hides, feathers, and trophies, vectors and organisms. 
  • Analyzes veterinary medical and technical data from field investigations, laboratory tests, and pathological examinations and correlating the data with contributing factors such as farm management, environment, wildlife, immunization, or animal purchase and movement and health history for contributing factors leading to an outbreak or spread of the disease (epidemiological studies/investigations) or other health condition. Participates in animal health surveillance.  Develops written reports or summaries of disease control/eradication and animal health activities.
  • In some Veterinary Services positions, may supervise Animal Health Technicians and/or lower graded Veterinary Medical Officers. This may include planning and organizing work, assigning duties, approving leave, training employees, evaluating performance, resolving complaints and grievances, initiating disciplinary actions, and other similar functions.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel may be required for training and work assignment purposes

Relocation Authorized

  • No