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National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps

Dr. Jane Ridky
“You are really able to put your skills to the test to help control potentially devastating diseases…the kind of outbreaks you read about in history books.”
Dr. Jane Ridky


What is the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps (NAHERC)?
When an animal health emergency occurs, an immediate response is necessary to protect both animals and people. The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will look to many sources to obtain the veterinary personnel needed to help meet the critical staffing needs of such an emergency.

In 2001, APHIS established the NAHERC to respond to exotic disease outbreaks and other disasters which affect livestock, poultry, companion animals, and wildlife. More volunteers are urgently needed to assure a decisive response to any potential animal health crises.  

NAHERC Quarterly

Application Process

 On-Line Application Brochure

Who May Join NAHERC?

  • Veterinarians with a valid United States veterinary diploma from an accredited program.
  • Animal Health Technicians (AHTs) and Veterinary Technicians with a diploma and/or equivalent experience.
  • College students are eligible under the Student Educational Employment Program if they are:
    • A student enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student in a four-or-five year university program.
    • At least the minimum age required by federal, state, or local laws and standards governing the employment of minors.

Why Should You Join NAHERC?

  • Defend U.S. agriculture
  • Help animals in need
  • Expand career options
  • Network within the veterinary community
  • Learn emergency response procedures
  • Travel and explore


How Long are Tours?

Generally between 21 and 30 days.

Will I Be Paid?

  • Yes, you will become a temporary USDA APHIS employee. You also have the right to refuse assignments.
  • Travel, lodging, overtime, and workman's compensation provided.
  • AHTs qualified at the highest level receive GS-7, Step 1.
  • For more salary details visit the U.S. Office of Personnel Management GS salary table.


How Many Days Per Year Can I Serve as a Volunteer?

  • Veterinarians can serve multiple tours up to a full year.
  • AHTs can serve multiple tours up to 221 days per year.


Additional Information