When an animal health emergency occurs, an immediate response is necessary to protect both animals and people. APHIS will look to many sources to obtain veterinary personnel to help meet critical staffing needs during such an emergency.
In 2001, APHIS established the NAHERC to respond to exotic disease outbreaks and other disasters that affect livestock, poultry, companion animals, and wildlife.
The mission of the NAHERC is to support responses for animal health incidents and emergencies that affect livestock and poultry, and to support other animal health emergency responses, in the event capabilities are overwhelmed. The NAHERC currently has positions for veterinarians and animal health technicians. When activated, NAHERC members become temporary APHIS employees and are compensated in accordance with the General Service (GS) pay scale.