Veterinary Medical Officer
Department Of Agriculture - Laredo, TX

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Relocation expenses will not be paid The Port Veterinarian serves as Veterinary Medical Officer in a regulatory and enforcement agency with the responsibility for overall station import/export operations at one or more air, ocean, or land border ports of entry/export to preclude international movement of animals, animal products, by-products, or associated materials and vectors capable of causing introduction of animal diseases.

You will be required as an essential function, to travel and work both in and outside of the United States in the performance of assigned duties.

You can make a difference! The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) needs bright, energetic and committed professionals to facilitate the domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and to protect the health and care of animals and plants in the United States. MRP offers an array of occupations and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We operate in domestic and global markets. Be part of an organization that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response
  • U.S. Citizenship

DUTIES: The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to:
  • Plans and coordinates medical and program procedures to deal with animals and their by-products offered for importation into the U.S. for the purpose of determining Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) and their freedom from infestation and/or infectious, contagious or communicable diseases. Evaluates and coordinates the inspection, approval and surveillance systems of establishments involved in handling restricted animals and products such as valuable breeding stock, zoo animals, exotic birds, hides, feathers, and trophies.
  • Examines purebred animals declared for entry into the US under provisions of the Tariff Act to assure such animals are free from disease, are properly identified, and accompanying documents are in order. Insures all cooperating agencies and officials are kept informed and familiar with appropriate regulations and procedures relative to the entry and export of animals and their by-products or other restricted materials, and carried out accordingly.
  • Inspects and coordinates inspection of animals being exported to determine their freedom from evidence of infectious, contagious or communicable disease or parasitism, and certifies such shipments meet the requirements as listed in Federal Regulations or as specified in import health agreements with countries of destination. Also oversees or monitors such exports in transit through the port(s).
  • Determines, based on medical opinions and guidelines, the disposition of smuggled or otherwise ineligible animals, products, and associated materials subject to international movement. Inspects, quarantines, and releases poultry and birds offered for entry. May operate and manage USDA-owned bird quarantine facilities including care and feeding, maintenance, sanitation, procurement of supplies, disease control and treatment, disposal and disinfection, and safety. Advises brokers, airline and shipping officials and personnel, importers and exporters, cooperating Federal, State, and local officials, and the public on applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  • May supervise and train lay inspectors or Animal Health Technicians who work under their supervision.
  • May represent the agency before public and private livestock groups and individuals for the promotion of disease prevention, control, and eradication programs.
  • Maintains contacts with foreign and domestic professional and industry officials to monitor and evaluate significance of potential disease situations at points of origin.
  • May serve on an emergency disease eradication task force which has responsibility for instituting immediate quarantine, diagnostic controls, and eradication measures to effectively localize and eliminate the epidemic

  • QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: To qualify, you MUST meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


    1. Degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree, i.e., Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD), obtained at a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA). The AVMA web site has a listing of all AVMA-accredited veterinary medical schools. AVMA web site: OR

    2. Graduates of foreign veterinary medical schools that are not accredited by the AVMA Council on Education must meet one of the following requirements: (Refer to AVMA web site for information about schools in this category.)

    a) Proof of certification of their final transcript by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG);

    b) Possession of a permanent, full, and unrestricted license to practice veterinary medicine in a State, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States that includes successful completion of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) or its predecessors, the National Board Examination (NBE) and the Clinical Competency Test (CCT); OR

    c) Proof that the education obtained in a foreign veterinary medical program is equivalent to that gained in a veterinary medical program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education. An AVMA-accredited veterinary medical school or college must have accepted the final transcript from the foreign veterinary medical school at full value for placement into an advanced degree, postgraduate educational program, or training program (e.g., residency or graduate program).

    In addition, graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must also provide proof of proficiency in the English language by successfully completing one of the nationally and internationally recognized examinations that incorporate assessments of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Examples of examinations that assess mastery of the English language are shown below:

    a) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Minimum scores for the TOEFL are 560 for the paper-based version; 220 for the computer-based version; or overall score of 83 for the internet-based version (including 26 or higher in speaking, 26 or higher in listening, and 17 or higher in writing). For the computer-based and paper-based test versions, applicants must also complete the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and the Test of Written English (TWE). Minimum required scores are 55 for the TSE and 5.5 for the TWE.

    b) Academic tests (listening, writing, and speaking) offered by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with at least 7.0 in speaking, 6.5 in listening, and 6.0 in writing; OR

    c) Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Applicants must achieve a minimum overall band score of 70, with at least 60 in speaking, 60 in listening, and 50 in writing.

    Graduates of foreign veterinary medical programs must submit test results with their application. Results of more than one test or testing session cannot be combined to meet the standard. Waiver Provision: English language proficiency assessments may be waived for qualified job applicants whose native language is English (i.e., the official or common language of an individual's country of birth is English) who submit a diploma or other official documentation as proof of graduation from a high (secondary) school where the entire curriculum and educational programs were taught in the English language for the entire 3 or 4 years of full-time attendance.


    IN ADDITION TO MEETING THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS, SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-12 GRADE LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of progressively responsible, professional veterinary experience that demonstrates the ability to independently perform the veterinary medical duties required of the position being filled. Experience must be equivalent to the next lower Federal grade level. This experience may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors.

    Examples of qualifying experience include, but are not limited to:
    • Regulating the import/export of animals.
    • Enforcing or modifying existing import/export regulations pertaining to animals and microbial agents that represent threats to human health.
    • Advising customs personnel regarding release of products from agricultural hold.
    • Explaining regulations and requirements to members of the public, producers, owners, accredited veterinarians and shippers.
    • Evaluates and advises the regulated community regarding the humane handling, husbandry, maintenance, transportation, housing and veterinary care of animals.
    • Ensures compliance with relevant veterinary regulations and laws.
    OR EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION FOR THE GS-12 GRADE LEVEL: Successful completion of a Master's degree in an area of specialization including, but not limited to: animal science, avian medicine, food safety, infectious diseases, veterinary clinical sciences, pathobiology, biomedical sciences, veterinary anatomy, veterinary preventive medicine, comparative biological sciences, epidemiology, veterinary parasitology, molecular veterinary biosciences, public health, microbiology, pathology, immunology, laboratory animal medicine, toxicology, wildlife, zoological animal medicine, or other sciences related to the work of a veterinary medical officer position. Education must be obtained from an accredited college or university. Must submit transcripts if qualifying based on education. OR

    RESIDENCY/POST GRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR THE GS-12 GRADE LEVEL: Successful completion of two years of an internship, residency program, or fellowship training program in a discipline related to the position. Applicants should provide a certificate or letter documenting the completion of this program in order to qualify for the GS-12 grade level.

    Special Conditions:
    • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.
    • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.
    • Transcripts must be submitted for this position.
    • Foreign DVM's - See Qualifications section for required paperwork.
    • As a condition of employment, a background investigation may be required for this position.
    • Valid state driver's license required at time of hiring.
    • The work involves strenuous physical demands to handle and restrain livestock, which includes defending against physical attack by confused or distressed livestock or similar sized animals confined in cramped stalls or similar accommodations. There is also crouching during the examination of livestock, manual restraint of livestock, and prolonged kneeling in areas of high animal concentration for collection of blood samples.
    • There is exposure to discomforts and disease conditions and agents, some of which are highly contagious, infectious, noxious, and communicable to humans. Special clothing, equipment, and other safeguards are required.
    • The loading and monitoring of import/export animal shipments can occure at various hours. This requires the incumbent to be on-call and/or available even after completion of an earlier shift and can affect consistency in processing shipments.
    • We understand that accepting a position with Veterinary Services may require the need for spousal career placement assistance. To help you and your family make a successful career transition, Veterinary Services is dedicated to providing information on career placement assistance. Please visit the following web links for more information:
    • This position is subject to unscheduled overnight details of undetermined lengths in the event of animal health emergencies or other conditions requiring immediate response, as required by the Agency. (Extensive periods of time may be designated for overnight details.)
    • Individuals must be physically and mentally able to safely and efficiently perform the full-range of duties of the position without creating hazards to themselves or others.

    HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Direct Hire Authority has been granted government-wide for Veterinary Medical Officer positions due to a severe shortage of candidates. This authority permits hiring without regard to certain competitive requirements. Your application will be reviewed to confirm you possess the education and/or experience described in the qualifications section. The vacancy specific questions are to obtain more information about your experience relative to the job being filled. Your resume must: 1. Support that you meet the specialized experience requirements described in the Qualifications section above, unless you are eligible based on the substitution of education for experience. 2. Include dates of employment and a detailed description of each position held.

    To preview questions please click here .

    BENEFITS: Eligibility for employee benefits depends on your type of appointment and your tour of duty (work schedule). Generally, you must be hired on a permanent basis and have a regular full or part-time work schedule. For more information on potential benefits, go to: Federal Employee Benefits


    Range for GS-11: $57,408 to $74,628 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)

    Range for GS-12: $68,809 to $89,450 (incl. 14.16% locality pay)

    • For information regarding CTAP eligibility for applicants who are displaced Federal employees click on the link below: Career Transition Assistance Programs
    • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
    • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
    • For information on filing a complaint of discrimination, click: Filing a Complaint - 17 months ago - save job - block
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