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GAO: Agencies say veterinarian workforce faces issues

The Government Accountability Office found that many federal agencies, like the country in general, face a looming shortage of veterinarians. The GAO found that the government's shortage is exacerbated by noncompetitive salaries and projected retirements. Government veterinarians are key to public health, especially in the containment of diseases that spread from animals to humans, the report said.

According to the GAO, government agencies employing veterinarians – the biggest being the departments of defense, agriculture and health and human services – have not conducted adequate assessments of preparedness for catastrophic events or pandemics.

The GAO's study: