USDA hiring veterinarians to fight avian flu

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The Department of Agriculture is hiring 90 veterinarians on one- and two-year appointments as part of the response to the avian influenza outbreak.

Kevin Shea, administrator of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the agency also is hiring 210 animal health technicians. The veterinarians and technicians are among 450 temporary employees expected to help poultry and egg industries prepare for the fall migratory season and help APHIS respond to any infections with the same highly pathogenic H5N2 influenza virus that killed about 50 million chickens and turkeys this spring.

The administrator noted that recent graduates of veterinary schools, practicing veterinarians looking for a change in work, and those retired from practice are among those qualified. The job listings are posted at, where the veterinary medical officer and animal health technician jobs can be found through key word searches for 24VS-APHIS-OC-2015-0873 and 24VS-APHIS-OC-2015-0885, respectively.

Shea said APHIS also is taking a hard look at the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps following a disappointing response to the H5N2 outbreak. The corps includes about 1,000 veterinarians and about 3,000 animal health technicians who have signed up to be hired by APHIS for emergency work, but many of those called were unable to commit to the 21-day field assignments requested by APHIS during the spring outbreak.