June 15, 2003


 APHIS still calling on veterinarians, veterinary technicians for Newcastle disease eradication

Posted June 1, 2003

The Veterinary Services branch of the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is recruiting nonfederal veterinarians and veterinary technicians to assist in the exotic Newcastle disease eradication program in California.

The volunteers would become Veterinary Services employees for 23 to 60 days to assist in the program, and would join the agency's National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps. The program's purpose is to enroll veterinary personnel interested in serving as VS employees in the event of an outbreak or other animal disease event.

Veterinary students can qualify as veterinary technicians and be mobilized. Some 140 nonfederal veterinarians have worked on this outbreak to date, and 40 veterinary students will be deployed for 30- and 60-day rotations, once school is out.

The work may include examining flocks for clinical signs of disease, conducting postmortem examinations, collecting specimens, collecting epidemiologic information, euthanatizing diseased animals, supervising disposal of animal carcasses, and inspecting markets, trucks, and other vehicles.

In the past two years, veterinary professionals enrolled in this program have assisted the United Kingdom with its foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and Virginia with the low- pathogenic avian influenza control program.

This is an excellent opportunity for foreign animal disease and emergency management training in the field. The salary ranges from GS9 to GS11, depending on qualifications. Veterinary Services provides overtime pay, all travel expenses, and daily living costs.

Forms can be downloaded from www.aphis.usda.gov/mpls/library/forms/forms.html by clicking on 'Optional Forms' and selecting OF 612 and OF 306. Where the OF 612 calls for announcement number, write Emergency VMO. Fax or mail completed forms and a copy of your veterinary diploma and other pertinent information to USDA, APHIS, Minneapolis Business Site, 100 6th St., Suite 510, Minneapolis, MN 55403; fax (612) 370-2209.

Direct additional questions to Gordon Cleveland at (301)734-8091 or EmergencyVMO@aphis.usda.gov.