New animal care leader at USDA

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Bernadette Juarez (Photos courtesy of USDA)
Dr. Gipson
Dr. Chester A. Gipson


Bernadette Juarez is the new deputy administrator for Animal Care in the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

She had been acting deputy administrator since Jan. 4, taking over from Dr. Chester A. Gipson, who retired Jan. 1 following 13 years in that position. APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea announced her selection as deputy administrator Feb. 22.

Juarez worked before as deputy director and director of the APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services, which investigates Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act violations, according to APHIS information. She focused resources on priority investigations and implemented business process changes, cutting investigation and enforcement action times almost in half, according to the announcement.

She also has worked as a trial attorney in the USDA Office of the General Counsel.

In a January announcement following Juarez’s selection as acting deputy administrator, Shea expressed confidence Juarez would be invaluable to APHIS efforts to provide more humane and healthy conditions for animals and work toward ending the “cruel and inhumane” practice of soring, the infliction of pain to create an extravagant or exaggerated gait in horses for training or show.