Monitoring animal health and preventing animal disease is essential for the agricultural sector. It’s also vital for the economy and to ensure global food supply. Ensuring that animals are kept in good health makes food supplies safer, increases farm productivity, provides food security and saves the global economy millions in recalled products, disease eradication efforts, and trade halts.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) maintains that animal health is critical for sustainable livestock production. In addition to being a source of income for farmers, animal products make up a high percentage of our diets and are essential to many economies. As the global population increases, the food supply must also increase. According to the FAO, meat production alone will have to increase by over 200 million tonnes by 2050.
Because of this, it’s essential to invest in animal health and wellbeing. Fortunately, there are many careers devoted to this. We have detailed some of the most common animal health jobs in this article.
Veterinarians take care of various animals’ health needs, including laboratory animals, zoo animals, livestock, avian as well as small animals. Livestock (large animal), bovine, equine, poultry, and porcine veterinarians usually work with farm animals, with some specialising in food production and safety. They’re responsible for checking animals for illnesses, including those that can be passed onto human beings and treating them accordingly. In addition to administering immunisations and conducting physical exams, vets can provide emergency care, prescribe medication and perform different procedures on animals.
Large Animal Veterinarians
These animal health practitioners handle care for sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs. Large animal veterinarians can diagnose and treat various livestock illnesses and either have their own practices or make calls to farms to inspect animals. In addition to giving animals vaccinations, drawing blood, and cleaning and suturing wounds, these veterinarians can help with breeding, artificial insemination, and complicated births.
Equine veterinarians are animal health specialists who deal specifically with horses. In addition to vaccinating horses and testing blood, they can perform exams, prescribe medications, suture wounds, and perform surgeries on horses. In addition to workers with farmers and other horse owners, they may work with farriers to ensure proper limb functionality.
These small animal veterinarians specialise in treating chickens, ducks and turkeys. In addition to conducting inspections and observing flock behaviour, they can perform tests on the poultry, check the meat and eggs for safety, develop health management procedures, and make diet and nutrition recommendations.
Animal Health Inspectors
Animal health inspectors are responsible for ensuring that animals are not undergoing abuse or neglect and are kept in safe and healthy environments. They’re well-versed in rules and regulations and ensure compliance with these laws when inspecting different animal processing facilities. These include livestock markets, feedlots, hatcheries, quarantine facilities, research laboratories, and more.
In addition to maintaining health standards and ensuring animal testing, animal health inspectors may deliver quarantine issues, assess different environments for compliance with sanitation standards, and enforce disease laws. The position requires both fieldwork and office work, with animal health inspectors often travelling throughout different territories.
Lab Animal Technicians
Lab animal technicians are in charge of caring for animals being used for research. This includes basic care such as giving animals food and water, cleaning and disinfecting cages, and other jobs such as recording information, monitoring behaviour, taking samples, writing reports, and maintaining a database. Lab animal technicians work closely with researchers and veterinarians and ensure that humane practices are involved when using animals for research purposes.
Farriers provide expertise in equine foot care and are responsible for shoeing horses and caring for their hooves. In addition to fitting horseshoes, they care for, trim, and clean horse hooves. Their work may include corrective trimming, changing angles of limbs to promote proper growth, evaluating gait and hoof balance, and more. Farriers also work closely with vets to treat horses with foot problems and develop special shoes or prosthetics accordingly.
Veterinary Pharmaceutical Sales
Veterinary pharmaceutical sales is a field that combines agricultural business and sales with animal health. These professionals are well-versed in anatomy, biology, pharmacology, marketing and sales and usually have backgrounds in animal science, biology, or related subjects. Their expertise in pharmaceuticals for animals allows them to succeed in the animal health industry, where they deal with veterinarians and agricultural businesses, including farms. In addition to selling products, they may provide training on the use of different products.
Different animals often get injured and cannot care for themselves. Wildlife rehabilitators treat these animals and release them back into the wild when they are fully healed. Because they treat animals’ injuries, they may work with veterinarians in case of severe injuries and with nutritional experts to meet different species’ nutritional needs. In addition to humanely capturing the animals, they feed the animals, clean their cages, as well as aid them in their road to recovery.
These animal health professionals assist veterinarians with medical procedures. In addition to helping with physical examinations and assisting with surgeries, veterinary technicians can run lab tests, clean equipment, take and process x-rays, fill prescriptions, and restrain animals during examinations and procedures.They can also administer vaccines, medications, and other treatments that the veterinarian has prescribed.
There are many subspecialties, including clinical pathology, emergency care, equine health, nutritional care, dental care and more.
Exploring Careers in Animal Health
Animal health and welfare are important and highly valued in the animal care and agricultural industries. Many jobs deal with animal health, and the ones we’ve outlined are only a handful of suggestions. Explore further and find your dream agricultural job with our job portal. Alternatively, you can check out our candidate services and register with us for help from our agricultural recruitment experts. Since we’re known for connecting the best in farming talent with renowned organisations, we can help you advance your agricultural career.
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