*During first year of employment only
  • Education: Veterinary degree
  • Ability to obtain RCVS registration
  • Experience: VMHI previous experience preferred but not essential, training will be provided
  • English: Advanced level of English
  • Driving licence: B category – mandatory
  • As an Official Veterinarian, you’ll work in a slaughterhouse or meat processing plant and ensure that all meat is being produced safely and in accordance with relevant laws.
  • You’ll provide a technical and leadership role, in approved premises providing technical advice and direction to the plant inspection team to ensure the efficient and consistent delivery of Official Controls.
  • Build and manage effective relationships with the plant Food Business Operator and other stakeholders and take responsibility for health and safety management at plant level.
  • You’ll also guarantee that the highest animal welfare standards are maintained and that they are cared for properly and transported safely.
  • Any actions that you recommend must be implemented immediately.
  • This is a very important role, as you’ll be responsible for the safety of the public who purchase meat products.

Your tasks will likely vary from day to day but will include the following:

  • Assessment of food chain information.
  • Conducting ante-mortem inspection of animals for slaughter.
  • Verification of animal welfare compliance.
  • Conducting post mortem inspection and health marking.
  • Verification of slaughter hygiene standards, FBO traceability systems and food safety management systems.
  • Assessment of and decision making in relation to food chain information, live animals, animal welfare and meat.
  • Verify that the FBO complies with legislative requirements through their own food safety management procedures.
  • You’ll be responsible for the technical leadership and performance of the plant inspection team by, providing appropriate advice, coaching, support, and ensuring technical compliance through supervision of tasks.
  • You’ll need to establish and maintain productive working relationships with the FSA, plant FBOs and other stakeholders (other Government Departments, Local Authorities, etc). This means someone who is an effective and confident communicator, able to build good working relationships and sort out issues as they arise.
  • You’ll need to be able to write up detailed reports and understand legislative issues so that you can make effective decisions when required.
  • Difficult situations will arise occasionally as part of the job and you’ll need to be the sort of person with the necessary diplomatic and communication skills to sort these out.
  • And you’ll need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the meat processing sector.
  • You can expect to work between 37 and 40 hours per week from Monday to Friday but this can vary, and overtime might be required to meet a deadline; also, you may have to work outside normal working hours if you’re visiting a slaughterhouse or processor.
  • You can expect to spend some time travelling around from one inspection to the next so a driving license is essential.
  • You’ll have to be physically fit and sometimes the working conditions might be hot or cold, and you’ll be expected to wear protective clothing such as boots, hats and overalls.
  • This is not a job for anyone who doesn’t like strong smells and a noisy environment!

Job description