Bernadette Juarez, USDA-APHIS’ Deputy Administrator for Animal Care, discusses a new initiative to strengthen relationships with the attending veterinarian community.

Hi, I’m Bernadette Juarez. I’m USDA’s Deputy Administrator for the Animal Care program, and I’m here to tell you about an important new initiative to build our working relationship with the attending veterinarian community.  Attending Veterinarians and USDA share a common goal of ensuring good animal welfare.

USDA employs more than 100 inspectors who inspect more than 8,000 facilities across the United States for compliance with the Animal Welfare Act, which provides protections to certain animals that are exhibited to the public, sold for use as pets, used in research or transported commercially.  Each one of these facilities has an attending veterinarian that helps them ensure that their animals are receiving adequate care.  During our inspections, our inspectors look at a facility’s written program of veterinary care and assess the animals’ health and well-being.

From time to time, our inspectors may have a question about an animal’s veterinary care or treatment. If the attending veterinarian isn’t present during the inspection, we’ve asked our inspectors to pick up the phone and call the attending veterinarian and have a conversation about the animal’s care.  We want the attending veterinarians to know that the information that they provide on behalf of their clients will help us confirm that the animal is receiving adequate care.

We’re reaching out to the attending veterinarian community and all of our facilities to let them know the reasons behind this important new initiative. Although we expect it make take some time before everybody becomes familiar with this new approach, we look forward to building our working relationship with attending veterinarians. 

We have created a webpage which provides multiple resources for attending veterinarians.

For more information about USDA’s Animal Care program, please visit: