Profession official veterinarian

Official veterinarians are professionals with a comprehensive scientific education. They have the authority to carry out, in an independent, ethical and personally responsible capacity all veterinary activities with particular focus on the health and welfare of animals and public health in accordance with national and international legislation. They are responsible for national animal disease eradication programmes, the protection of public health and food or animal inspection, animal movements, and import and export of live animals and their products.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Investigative / Realistic

Knowledge

  • Anatomy of animals

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

  • Animal production science

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

  • Conduct ante-mortem veterinary health inspection

    Perform clinical assessment and certification of the health status of food animals prior to slaughter.

  • 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.

  • Signs of animal illness

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Veterinary clinical sciences

    Aetiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases and disorders. This includes veterinary areas such as propaedeutics, clinical and anatomic pathology, microbiology, parasitology, clinical medicine and surgery (including anaesthetics), preventive medicine, diagnostic imaging, animal reproduction and reproductive disorders, veterinary state medicine and public health, veterinary legislation and forensic medicine, and therapeutics.

  • Fundamental veterinary sciences

    Veterinary anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pharmacy, toxicology, microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and professional ethics.

Skills

  • 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.

  • Apply veterinary epidemiology

    Analyse animal and zoonotic disease morbidity and mortality in a given population and relate findings to the norm. This includes collection and analysis of data and information for use in individual animals, groups or more widely as part of a network of disease surveillance. Implement intervention and control measures.

  • Perform veterinary diagnosis

    Identify and determine the physiological status of animals and the nature and cause of diseases in animals through evaluation of patient history, clinical examination, and the selection, taking and reviewing of confirmatory imaging, laboratory and other ancillary test data.

  • Develop media strategy

    Create the strategy on the type of content to be delivered to the target groups and which media to be used, taking into account the characteristics of the target audience and the media that will be used for content delivery.

  • Perform laboratory testing on samples of animals

    Conduct and interprete simple procedures in a veterinary practice laboratory on samples of an animal intended to detect, identify, or quantify disease agents, evaluate organ functions, or determine the nature of a disease.

  • Advise on livestock disease control

    Advise livestock owners of economic aspects of disease eradication. Advise consumers of public health implications of diseases transmissible from animals to humans.

  • Perform inspection analysis

    Investigate and report on inspection procedures, techniques, equipment and materials.

  • Develop zoonotic disease control policies

    Carry out research and elaborate policies, guidelines, and strategies for the control of zoonotic and foodborne diseases.

  • Handle veterinary emergencies

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

  • Manage animal hygiene

    Plan and use appropriate hygiene measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure an effective overall hygiene. Maintain and follow hygiene procedures and regulations when working with animals, communicate site hygiene controls and protocols to others. Manage the safe disposal of waste according to destination and local regulations.

  • Certify the performance of veterinary procedures

    Produce accurate descriptive certification of procedures carried out by a veterinarian.

  • Regulate animal health standards

    Develop, inspect and enforce animal health standards required for interstate and international commerce of livestock and livestock products, and for public health.

  • Issue certificates for animal products

    Issue certificates related to animal health and welfare or to animal products, based on the necessary examination or testing, in accordance with the principles of certification agreed at European level.

  • 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.

  • Comply with veterinary inspection standards

    Follow the veterinary inspection standards and ensure appropriate corrective actions when irregularities occur.

  • 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.

  • Perform inspections of food-processing plants

    Perform inspection activities at an abattoir or at a group of miscellaneous meat processing or handling establishments. Inspect establishments engaged in slaughtering livestock and processing meat. Examine animal and carcass before and after slaughtering to detect evidence of disease or other abnormal conditions. Determine that ingredients used in processing and marketing meat and meat products comply with governmental standards of purity and grading.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Follow environmentally sustainable work practices in the veterinary sector

    Contribute to the protection of the environment by complying with the sustainability principles, policies, and regulations related to working with animals.

  • Evaluate information in the field of veterinary nursing

    Be able to read, understand and utilise the most current research available to justify decisions based on best practice.

  • Maintain veterinary clinical records

    Create and maintain clinical records for animals according to national regulatory requirements.

  • Make decisions regarding the animal's welfare

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

Optional knowledge and skills

develop an animal handling strategy apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting environmental enrichment for animals provide mentorship maintain relationships with animal welfare establishments cope with challenging circumstances in the veterinary sector understand the animal's situation provide animal training take advantage of learning opportunities in veterinary science apply numeracy skills collaborate with animal related professionals calculate rates per hours manage infection control in the facility implement veterinary clinical governance interview animal owners on animals' conditions use different communication channels maintain administrative records in the veterinary office