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Veterinary scientists specialise in the study of disease in animals. Unlike veterinary surgeons, they rarely treat animals individually. They are concerned with the health and welfare of diverse species groups such as laboratory animals, wildlife, zoological collections, working animals and domestic animals. They also contribute to the conservation of endangered species and play an important role in helping to prevent disease spreading from animals or animal products (such as meat) to humans or any other species. They may also be employed in a teaching capacity by universities.
Most veterinary scientists work in a laboratory using specialist equipment and computers.
Employers include government departments (particularly the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)), research institutes, pet food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, zoos and animal charities. There may also be opportunities for employment within the Armed Forces in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.