Veterinary surgeons, also known as vets, look after the health and welfare of animals. Most work in general practice, with domestic pets, farm and zoo animals.
To become a vet you will need a degree from a vet school at a recognised UK university.
A vet will probably need to work long and irregular hours. You will also need to be patient, sensitive and sympathetic with animal owners.
As a vet in general practice work would include diagnosis and treatment of sick and injured animals, carrying-out operations on ill or injured animals, providing care for in-patients, and giving owners advice on care and diet for their animals. You could also be involved in inspecting hygiene and care standards in zoos, kennels, catteries, riding stables, pet shops and cattle markets.
Some vets work full-time for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), helping to control animal diseases and protect public health interests. In this role they would work in either the Veterinary Field Service (VFS) or at Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs).
Vets who work in public health aim to prevent and control animal and human diseases. Their work could involve investigating animal and human disease outbreaks, such as foot and mouth disease, or assessing the safety of food processing plants and abattoirs.
Vets in industry develop, test and supervise production of drugs, chemicals and biological products.