When most people think of a vet, they think of the person you take your cat or dog to for their annual vaccinations, or when they are sick.
You may also think of a vet as someone who may visit a farm to deliver a calf or a lamb – the ‘James Herriot’ stereotype that is still very much alive and well. That is the way that most children think of a vet when they are considering what they would like to be when they grow up, and indeed a large percentage of veterinary undergraduates feel the same way. This has always been the case.
What most people don’t know is that there is another side of veterinary practice; the role of a Veterinary Public Health Official Veterinarian (OV), whose role it is to safeguard animal welfare and food safety within the food chain. On behalf of the Food Standards Agency, these #heroes look after the welfare of 1.2 billion animals that pass through the country’s abattoir system each year, and they ensure that the meat that leaves the abattoir is safe for human consumption, both in the UK, and for export. OVs also inspect products of animal origin (POAO) that enter the UK, to ensure that they are safe, free of disease, and comply with the UKs strict import regulations. OVs also enable UK businesses to export their POAO all over the world, ensuring that the export complies with the destination country’s regulatory regimes.
Eville & Jones is Europe’s largest private provider of VPH OVs and has a workforce of over 900 people that hail from 51 countries. We have been in business for nearly 30 years and for at least a decade, until today, no UK veterinary graduate has chosen a career with us as a VPH OV working in an abattoir setting.
Today, we welcome two graduates from Bristol University vet school. This is a result of two years of hard work, developing a compelling proposition for UK educated veterinary surgeons to seriously consider a career within VPH as an OV, and we are confident that this is just the start.
We are now able to offer our UK vets full-time, part-time and hybrid working roles whom will be able to work in a number of settings as part of their role; both within an abattoir, for an export customer, within a small animal vaccination clinic, undertaking audits and inspections, and we can even offer short term deployment around the world.
Our two new OVs, Rosanna Moss and Lucy Blount graduated this year from Bristol vet school and are joining us in hybrid positions. This incredible, flexible opportunity allows them to work outside of Eville & Jones in clinical practice for part of the week, and as a Novice OV for E&J for the rest of the week. Rosanna and Lucy are our trailblazers and have kindly offered to document their experiences as they transition from vet school graduates to Official Veterinarians. Expect to see them blogging, vlogging and tweeting about their adventures soon.
This is a great time to be joining our business, and we hope that the work they do will enhance the British public’s understanding of veterinary public health and showcase the diverse career opportunities available to UK veterinary graduates.
We are so excited to welcome Rosanna and Lucy as part of this week’s cohort of new starters and we wish them the best of luck in their careers.