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Curious about the pivotal role of Certifying Official Veterinarians (OVs) in public health?

OV certification is essential in many different areas including meat, live animal exports for breeding, licensing of breeding and boarding kennels and in pet passports, to give just a few examples.

OVs also have an important VPH role in farm animals through for example TB testing, and more information on this is available on the British Cattle Veterinary Association website     BCVA link

In this VPHA sub-section however we are going to look at the role of Public Health Vets in Export Health Certification.


The Essential Role of Official Veterinarians in Export Health Certification

Export certifying vets have an important and pivotal role in ensuring the safety and compliance of export health certificates (EHCs). Let's take a closer look at how Public Health vets contribute to global trade while safeguarding public health.

Imagine a bustling cold store where crates of products of animal origin (POAO) await shipment to our EU neighbours or maybe to more distant shores. Before these goods can embark on their journey, they must undergo rigorous inspection and certification by Official Veterinarians (OVs). These diligent individuals serve as guardians of public health, verifying and signing export health certificates that attest to the safety and integrity of the products.

Operating under the guidance and authorisation of Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), OVs play a vital role in upholding the standards set and enforced by EU member states or rest of the world (RoW) countries who are going to receive imports of UK Products of Animal Origin (POAO).  They ensure that animal products meet stringent regulatory requirements, thereby safeguarding consumers and very importantly facilitating smooth trade relations.

Becoming an OV is no small feat. Candidates must undergo extensive training, hold full membership with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS), and obtain the Official Controls Qualification (Veterinary) (OCQ(V)). This rigorous process ensures that OVs are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out their duties effectively.

Certification OVs play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of food products, preventing the spread of infectious diseases and maintaining the health and well-being of communities around the world.


Why Should I Become a Certifying Official Vet?

Now that you understand the significance of the OV role, you may be wondering what motivates individuals to pursue this career path. Official Veterinarians are driven by a passion for public health and a desire to make a positive impact on society. They take pride in their ability to ensure the safety and integrity of animal products, knowing that their work directly contributes to the well-being of consumers and the success of global trade. Export certification can also be an excellent choice for PHV’s seeking part time working, changing career paths or returning to work from a break away.

As for most veterinary jobs the role of a certifying OV is not without its challenges at times (for example communicating the reasons to customers when an expected export cannot be certified), but it offers excellent opportunities for personal and professional growth. From navigating complex regulatory landscapes to forging connections with colleagues across the industry, certifying OVs find fulfilment in the diversity and dynamism of their work.

At its core, being a Certifying OV is about making a difference. Whether it's helping pets travel safely abroad or ensuring the safety of food products, OVs play a vital role in protecting public health and promoting global prosperity.

For further insights into the world of Official Veterinarians and their pivotal role in export health certification, explore the comprehensive resources available on the APHA Vet Gateway. Together, let's shape a healthier, safer future for animals and humans alike.


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