……and halts hiring of public health veterinarians and public health inspectors to fill critical staffing shortages at poultry and red meat slaughter plants nationwide.

By Stephanie R. Ostrowski, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM, FNAP

Public health veterinarians and public health inspectors with the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) work at slaughter plants and in the food processing chain to assure humane handling of livestock and poultry. They enforce federal regulatory standards for food safety and wholesomeness, enforce truth in labeling, and initiate recalls of products when necessary. These FSIS positions are designated as a “critical need” category with “direct hire” authority to expedite the hiring process when qualified candidates are identified. Hiring announcements for these positions have been continuously posted on www.USAJOBS.gov for over a year to address FSIS staffing needs at hundreds of poultry and red-meat processing plants nationwide. President Trump’s recent Executive Order for a government-wide hiring freeze (which exempts only the military and Homeland Security) thus affects USDA’s to hire critically needed Public Health Veterinarians just as 2017 graduates of veterinary colleges are submitting their applications for these positions. READ MORE