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Veterinary Counsellor - Global Animal Health

Beijing, China
£59,341 - £67,055
Closing date
29 May 2023

Job Details

Veterinary Counsellor

Global Animal Health

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

£59,341 - £67,055

Location: Beijing, China

Ref: 258155

With wide-ranging responsibilities, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs works to protect the environment and grow the UK’s rural economy. Join us in this role and you’ll be on loan to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for the duration of an appointment in Beijing. Focused on furthering key trade and scientific animal health objectives in China and across the wider Asia-Pacific region, you’ll provide technical veterinary support, expertise and advice to the British Embassy’s Agri-Attaché, and assist with the strategic direction of the UK’s agricultural, food and drink relationship with China.

After the USA and the EU, China is the third largest importer of UK food and drink, so you’ll be key to the success of the UK’s ambition to export more animals, products of animal origin and animal by-products while ensuring the highest standards of animal health, welfare and food safety. This will be an exciting and challenging role, and in addition to your background and real-life experiences, you’ll be a proactive self-starter, and always ready to identify new opportunities for trade in this growing market. You’ll have a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Providing expert veterinary advice to inform and influence access negotiations, leading to the opening of new markets for live animals, genetics and products of animal origin
  • Acting as a direct liaison between Defra, the British Embassy in Beijing, UK regulatory bodies, Chinese Government departments and other key regional partners
  • Providing veterinary assurance and verification of the UK’s world-recognised animal health, welfare and food safety standards
  • Building strong relationships and collaborating with your counterparts in Chinese government departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the General Administration of Customs China
  • Coordinating, developing and providing evidence-based veterinary advice with a view to informing policy and decision making, and boosting the UK’s agri-food exports
  • Drafting technical documents including trade protocols and Export Health Certificates
  • Contributing to the development of animal health and welfare objectives across the Asia-Pacific region
  • Promoting collaboration on sustainability and other agri-environmental issues by working with other embassies and developing strong government-to-government relationships

In addition to being a fully qualified vet, you’ll have strong leadership and organisational abilities, and the ability to think strategically and analyse complex issues. Capable of operating alongside a wide range of domestic and international stakeholders, your team-working skills will allow you to adapt to changing priorities in a fast-moving and fluid environment. An inspirational communicator, we’d prefer you to have some experience of government-to-government negotiations, and knowledge of international health, veterinary and SPS issues. You should also have an understanding of the systems by which authorities ensure the appropriate levels of animal health, welfare and food safety, and of the technical details of trade, for example WOAH standards.

This role would suit anyone who wishes to build on their existing knowledge and experience by taking on a remit that involves focusing on high level technical negotiations with key policy teams in a priority export market. You don’t need any Chinese language skills as lessons will be offered once in post, but you will need basic security clearance and be ready to adapt quickly to working as a member of a remote team in a new and sometimes challenging environment.

I addition to a highly competitive salary, you’ll receive help towards your relocation costs, and generous assistance with travel expenses to and from the UK. You’ll also enjoy accommodation support, and if you have a family, educational support for your children and loss of income support for your partner. If you have any questions about working and living in China, please contact Michael Thornton who will be happy to answer any questions.

Closing date: 11:55pm, Monday 29th May 2023.

Please complete your application via the Apply Now button. 





With wide-ranging responsibilities, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs works to protect the environment and grow the UK’s rural economy.

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