National Report — The federal government lacks a comprehensive understanding of the sufficiency of its veterinarian work force, according
to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in late February.
While the governmental agencies that employ veterinarians have assessed the existing shortage and future shortage of public-health
veterinarians, no such assessment has been done government-wide, even though 16 of the 24 federal entities that employ veterinarians
raised concerns, the GAO reports.
The biggest concern is that 27 percent of the veterinarians at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and the Army are eligible to retire within three years.
The GAO has made nine recommendations to improve the ability of the federal veterinarian work force to carry out routine activities,
prepare for a catastrophic event and respond to zoonotic disease outbreaks.
In addition to those recommendations, Dr. Ron DeHaven was scheduled to give testimony on behalf of the American Veterinary
Medical Association (AVMA) after press time in Washington. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
and the National Association of Federal Veterinarians also were scheduled to give testimony that day.
To view the complete report, visit http://www.gao.gov/