Animal Health Officer

England, Scotland, Wales
National: £24,918 - £26,584 / ​London: £27,963 - £29,806
15 Jan 2021
01 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Contract

Working pattern Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

About the job

APHA’s role to safeguard animal and plant health, and protect against disease. We employ around 2,300 staff who all play a key part in delivering this as part of the Defra group and for our customers including the Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

We are responsible for identifying, managing and eradicating incidences and outbreaks of endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees. This requires expertise in the areas of:

  • Inspection
  • testing and diagnosis
  • epidemiology
  • surveillance
  • disease and pest identification, containment and eradication
  • post-outbreak recovery
  • customer support and advice

The APHA strategy is central to Defra’s ambitions to provide a better place for people to live in, to enhance our environment and develop the rural economy.

Job description

The purpose of an Animal Health Officer (AHO) is to provide operational services to safeguard animal health and welfare and public health, protect the economy and enhance food security through inspection, surveillance, regulation, enforcement and where applicable research, through the application of GB Governments’ policies.

You will have well-honed interpersonal skills with the ability to provide authoritative advice, sometimes under difficult circumstances to a wide range of stakeholders. We’ll want you to follow processes, operating firmly within our set standards, rules and guidelines. You will need to be comfortable in communicating both verbally or in writing, and be able to simplify complexities for your audience. Along with this we’ll want you to be able to quickly establish mutual respect and trust, by building long lasting relationships with others, both internally and externally.

Naturally, you will be someone who enjoys working within a physical and demanding environment, you will always think ahead to anticipate, identify and address any risks or problems before they occur.

Animal Health Officers have a range of duties and are asked to work both independently and as part of a team.

From July 2021 APHA will deliver checks on live animals as described in the UK Border Operating Model.

For those roles, the majority of your time will be spent carrying out checks on live animals imported into GB from the European Union and depending on your location this may also include imports from Third Countries. Your role will be to prevent the introduction of notifiable diseases and invasive species into the UK, and to ensure the welfare of animals during transport is not compromised. This involves undertaking documentary, identity, physical and welfare checks on a variety of animals which may include commercial cats and dogs, horses, livestock, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians.

Depending on location you may be required to work in a shift pattern. This pattern can be early morning or a late evening shift and can span over weekends and public holidays.

Full Driving licence driving license (manual or automatic) evidence to be provided at interview.

Candidates will need independent access to a car to visit clients/collect samples/carry equipment. Some stakeholder locations and working hours preclude the use of public transport.

Essential Criteria

  • Experience of working and handling animals, in particular farmed animals (e.g. cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry), horses and small animals (e.g. cats, dogs). Experience may be from education, paid and/or voluntary work and knowledge of farmed animal husbandry systems.
  • Sound use of interpersonal skills to communicate technical knowledge within and external to APHA in a way that promotes understanding by the target audience(s), including production of succinct and accurate reports to meet specified requirements.
  • Ability to work in a leadership role by displaying inspiring behaviours that align with organisational values and championing inclusivity.
  • Ability to work within an auditable system of procedures and processes maintaining appropriate levels of quality assurance and control, including excellent standards of record keeping.
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team; you are able to work in an agile way to achieve great results.

Closing dates:

England: Monday 25th January 2021.

Wales & Scotland: Monday 1st February 2021.

To apply, please click the apply button.