Profession animal welfare inspector

Animal welfare inspectors investigate alleged reports of animal cruelty or neglect, rescue or collect animals in immediate or potential risk, liaise with internal and external agencies and other animal welfare establishments, educate and advise owners and carers of animals, seek to improve or maintain the welfare of the animal(s), and prevent or alleviate suffering.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Social
  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative

Knowledge

  • Anatomy of animals

    The study of animal body parts, their structure and dynamic relationships, on a level as demanded by the specific occupation.

  • Sociocultural contexts in which animals are kept

    An awareness of the human social and cultural contexts in which animals are kept and the impact on their use, care and human-animal interactions.

  • Animal welfare

    Universally recognized animal welfare needs as applied to species, situation and occupation. These are: need for a suitable environment need for a suitable diet need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

  • Animal behaviour

    The natural behavioural patterns of animals, i.e. how normal and abnormal behaviour might be expressed according to species, environment, human-animal interaction and occupation.

  • Environmental enrichment for animals

    Types, methods and use of enrichment for animals to allow the expression of natural behaviour, including the provision of environmental stimuli, feeding activities, puzzles, items for manipulation, social and training activities.

  • Animal welfare legislation

    The legal boundaries, codes of professional conduct, national and EU regulatory frameworks and legal procedures of working with animals and living organisms, ensuring their welfare and health.

  • Physiology of animals

    The study of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biochemical functioning of animals, their organs and their cells.

  • Safe work practices in a veterinary setting

    Safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and working environment.

  • Biosecurity related to animals

    Awareness of hygiene and bio-security measures when working with animals, including causes, transmission and prevention of diseases and use of policies, materials and equipment.

  • Signs of animal illness

    Physical, behavioural and environmental signs of health and ill health in various animals.

  • Animal production science

    Animal nutrition, agronomy, rural economics, animal husbandry, hygiene and bio-security, ethology, protection and herd health management.

Skills

  • Rescue animals

    Rescue animals found in situations which present an immediate or potential threat to their welfare.'

  • Deal with challenging people

    Work safely and communicate effectively with individuals and groups of people who are in challenging circumstances. This would include recognition of signs of aggression, distress, threatening and how to address them to promote personal safety and that of others.

  • Provide mentorship

    Guide and support less knowledgeable or less experienced colleagues.

  • Handle veterinary emergencies

    Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.

  • Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting

    Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and work environments.

  • Maintain relationships with animal welfare establishments

    Ensure good relations with other animal welfare establishments and agencies.

  • Liaise with animal welfare agencies

    Liaise with animal welfare agencies about the animal's conditions and situation in order to comply with regulations and gain insight regarding the next steps that should be taken. Negotiate an end result on how to fix the situation.

  • Instruct animal owners

    Instruct and provide advice to animal owners and carers to enable them to improve and maintain the welfare of the animal(s).'

  • Assess animal's condition

    Inspect the animal for any external signs of parasites, disease or injury. Use this information to determine own actions and report your findings to owners.

  • Monitor the welfare of animals

    Monitor animals’ physical condition and behaviour and report any concerns or unexpected changes, including signs of health or ill-health, appearance, condition of the animals' accommodation, intake of food and water and environmental conditions.

  • Promote animal welfare

    Promote good practice and work with compassion to sustain and promote high standards of animal welfare at all times by adapting personal behaviour and managing environmental factors.

  • Make decisions regarding the animal's welfare

    Make a choice from several alternative possibilities that promote the animal's well-being.

  • Manage animal biosecurity

    Plan and use appropriate biosafety measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure effective overall biosecurity. Maintain and follow biosecurity procedures and infection control when working with animals, including recognising potential health issues and taking appropriate action, communicating site hygiene control measures and biosecurity procedures, as well as reporting to others.

  • Treat animals ethically

    Carry out activities according to accepted principles of right and wrong, including transparency in work practices and conduct towards clients and their animals.

  • Advise on animal welfare

    Prepare and provide information to individuals or groups of people on how to promote the health and well-being of animals, and how risks to animal health and welfare may be reduced. Provide recommendations for corrective actions.

Optional knowledge and skills

develop an animal handling strategy provide an enriching environment for animals provide animal related information for legal proceedings coordinate care of neglected animals interview parties in relation to animal welfare investigations apply numeracy skills continue learning maintain working relationships work effectively with other animal-related organisations prepare case files in relation to animal related investigations investigate animal related incidents collaborate with animal related professionals cope with challenging circumstances in the veterinary sector understand the animal's situation write inspection reports

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