Noting that attending veterinarians have unique knowledge of animal-care practices on their clients’ operations and share USDA’s common goal of ensuring animal welfare, USDA has announced a new initiative to communicate with them during inspections under the Animal Welfare Act.
In a letter and video this week, Bernadette Juarez, USDA-APHIS’ Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, discusses the new initiative to “strengthen relationships with the attending veterinarian community.”
Juarez notes that animal-welfare inspectors look at a facility’s written program of veterinary care and assess the animals’ health and wellbeing. “From time to time, our inspectors may have a question about an animal’s veterinary care or treatment,” she says. “If the attending veterinarian isn’t present during the inspection, we’ve asked our inspectors to pick up the phone and call the attending veterinarian and have a conversation about the animal’s care. We want the attending veterinarians to know that the information that they provide on behalf of their clients will help us confirm that the animal is receiving adequate care.”
APHIS has created a webpage for attending veterinarians, featuring multiple resources including the letter from Juarez, videos and information on the attending veterinarian’s role under the Animal Welfare Act.
For more information about USDA’s Animal Care program, please visit the program website.