Position Profile

Job Title:  Veterinary Pathologist

Work Unit:  Food Safety Division, Animal Health and Assurance Branch, Pathology Unit

Ministry:   Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Competition Number:  1041972

Date:  April 2017



This is a full time position that provides disease investigation and diagnostic anatomic pathology support and expertise to the provincial livestock industry through private veterinary practitioners and producers. The emphasis of this position will be focused to poultry but experience with mammalian livestock species is desired. This position provides support to ongoing disease investigations, diagnostic pathology and animal health surveillance for Office of Chief Provincial Veterinarian and veterinary practitioners in the province. The incumbent will assist with developing and providing diagnostic pathology service to veterinary practitioners and backyard flock owners. The incumbent will co-ordinate technical staff in conducting disease investigations, as well as assisting with post-mortems, collecting and processing tissue samples to be delivered to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) laboratories and/or to other diagnostic laboratories in the country. The incumbent will provide advice related to disease risk management and animal health and food safety surveillance associated with poultry and livestock diseases of significance to the Office Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) and other relevant stakeholders. The job also provides input into the design and implementation of pathology-focused surveillance projects within the mandate of the Animal Health and Assurance Branch (AHAB) and Department’s priorities. The incumbent will be called upon to transfer information at a professional level through workshops, seminars, meetings, reports and other media outlets.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1. The focus of this position is to provide pathology expertise on disease investigations and to provide diagnostic services on poultry and mammalian livestock to enable final diagnosis of unresolved cases, as well as detection of new and emerging diseases, This position also contributes to the design, implementation, and support of scientifically valid animal health surveillance projects/programs delivered by the Branch. The outcomes of these activities are to monitor the health status of livestock and poultry operations, to respond in the event of disease outbreaks supporting the activities of the Office of Chief provincial Veterinarian and the Animal Health and Assurance Branch (AHAB), facilitating market access, and protecting public and animal health.


  • Provides diagnostic pathology and disease investigation expertise for poultry and livestock cases to private veterinarians and backyard flock owners through consultative referral program.
  • Provide disease investigation and diagnostic pathology support for animal health related activities of OCPV.
  • Plan, design, and implement poultry and livestock disease surveillance projects that support goals of AHAB and other Branches of AF.
  • Provides disease investigation and diagnostic pathology continuing education through seminars to private veterinary practitioners, veterinary groups, researchers and industries.
  • Publish reports and scientific articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications.
  • Provides progress reports on a regular basis to senior management, stakeholders and partners.
  • Share AHAB animal health surveillance information to industry partners and to veterinarians provincially and nationally.

Coordinate disease investigation and post-mortem room activities and direct technical staff in collection and processing of samples for disease investigation and surveillance projects.


  • Delegates assignments and provides guidance for disease investigation and diagnostic pathology related activities to technical staff.
  • Ensures that specimens are collected and processed properly during disease investigations, post-mortems and ongoing projects and programs.
  • Provide leadership to technical and administrative staff to ensure timely completion of disease investigations and projects.
  • Advises technical and administrative staff on planning and prioritization of activities to increase efficiency and quality of results.
  • Ensures that occupational health and safety requirements are maintained and followed.
  • Leads by example and coaches and mentors technical and administrative staff.
  3. Provides input on poultry and livestock diseases and pathology and poultry and livestock disease surveillance related issues to OCPV and senior management.


  • Compiles and analyzes periodic poultry and livestock disease related data to identify reportable/notifiable and emerging disease problems within the provincial poultry and livestock industry and advises OCPV and Branch management.
  • Continuously improves Branch and personal knowledge and understanding of diagnostic pathology and animal health surveillance in order to improve the expertise and quality of service provided by the Branch.
  • Designs, writes and submits scientifically valid poultry and livestock disease related project plans to management.
  • Prepares and presents summary monthly reports of poultry cases from Non Quota Non Commercial poultry program to management.
  4. Partner with other AF staff and GOA departments on poultry and livestock disease related projects.


  • Interact with government and industry groups to determine industry needs that address competitiveness and sustainability.
  • Identify opportunities for cooperation and participation among different sectors and disciplines that enhance the value of information relating to poultry and livestock disease and food safety.
  • Participate in poultry and livestock disease and food safety related professional and surveillance groups meetings to support AHAB initiatives.
  • Identify potential sources of funding and coordinate applications for diagnostic pathology related surveillance projects.
  5. Communicates results of surveillance projects and diagnostic pathology service to industry and other stakeholders.


  • Timely notification of management and OCPV regarding issues that pose a threat to provincial agri-food industry.
  • Presents animal health surveillance findings to veterinary groups, industry and public through Internet, newsletters, seminar presentations and publications.
  • Analyzes, summarizes and interprets data to produce and publish articles for scientific papers in peer-related journals and reference manuals.
  • Writes and updates technology transfer materials such as fact sheets.


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