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Food Animal Veterinarian


Food Animal Veterinarians are responsible for the care of animals that are raised for food production and human consumption. They provide medical care consisting of research, diagnoses, and prevention.


What responsibilities will I have?

  • Provide health care for livestock, and possibly laboratory animals
  • Examine animals to determine nature of illness or injury
  • Diagnose and treat injuries
  • Monitor animal performance and provide regular feedback via performance management reports
  • Provide technical expertise in health management including biosecurity, disease identification, prevention, control and treatment, regulatory and food safety requirements.
  • Research new diseases, medicines and procedures
  • Mentor veterinarian technicians regarding veterinarian medicine and animal related illnesses
  • Test and vaccinate, prevent and control contagious animal diseases
  • Responsible for ensuring sanitary measures before, during and after all procedures
  • Operate medical equipment
  • Euthanize animals when necessary
  • Provide preventative care to maintain animal health
  • Document for each specific animal treated
  • Oversee staff and office/business affairs


What education and training is required?

A doctorate of Veterinary Medicine is required.  A bachelor’s degree in animal science, biology, chemistry, animal nutrition, zoology or other related majors is required before being accepted to a doctoral program.


To pursue a career as a Veterinarian:

The following high school courses are recommended:agricultural education, a focus on sciences such as animal science and biology, chemistry, physical science, and mathematics.


Typical Employers:

Employed by food production companies, governmental agencies, and some university research farms.


Future Job Market/Outlook:

The future outlook for Food Animal Veterinarians is expected to be good.


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Society of Animal Science
  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
  • American Association of Swine Practitioners
  • American Association of Laboratory Animal Practitioners
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