Veterinary Officer - ZSL

Posted: 29 June 2022 | Full-Time | London and Whipsnade Zoo, United Kingdom 


We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world. Inspiring, informing, empowering – working for wildlife.

Our Wildlife Health Services department is at the heart of ZSL’s commitment to animal welfare and conservation. Aspiring to achieve the highest standards of care, ZSL’s Wildlife Health Services team provide both clinical and pathology facilities for ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Role Profile

We are recruiting two Veterinary Officers who will report to the Head of Wildlife Health Services and will support the health and welfare of all animals in ZSL collections, predominantly as a clinician working at both zoos.

There will be active involvement in the teaching of students; graduates enrolled on the MSc Wild Animal Health and Wild Animal Biology courses, and undergraduates on placement in the Department. You will contribute to ZSL conservation programmes as appropriate, for example providing technical support to breeding programmes for endangered species in the UK and abroad.

This is a great time to join ZSL, we are currently working developments and exhibits across both of our sites and developing a site master plan along with new Science and Conservation Plans. The role will be towards ZSL’s strategy in the following areas:

  • A world leading centre of research excellence in conservation science.
  • Accelerating the translation and use of research to maximise conservation impact.
  • Building capacity in students and conservation professionals through our unique education and training environment.
  • Inspiring new and diverse audiences to care about and better understand biodiversity conservation, particularly in the areas of wildlife health, saving threatened species and interactions between people and wildlife.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist with the development of the Wildlife Health workplan to establish how our focus on this priority area will translate into action, ensuring our science leads to practice and vice versa.
  • Report and publish appropriate clinical research material in journals and textbooks, maintaining and developing a departmental portfolio that supports the wider scientific profile of ZSL
  • Ensure continuous best practice veterinary care (including preventive medicine, diagnosis, treatment, disease surveillance and gross postmortem examination) for all animals at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
  • Provide wildlife health input to, and participation in, Science, Conservation and Zoos & Engagement projects that require it, to create synergy and ensure wildlife health factors are considered and addressed.
  • Provide input to the planning and design of new animal facilities at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, as appropriate, to ensure the highest standards of husbandry and care.
  • Train students on courses run by ZSL and the RVC, or other collaborative academic institutions, through formal teaching and practical and clinical training, to increase wildlife health capacity internationally.

You will be required to work an average of one weekend per month and one bank holiday per year with the flexibility to work additional weekends and bank holidays.

For a full job description, please click here

What do we offer?

We are committed to improving diversity and inclusion. We recognise the value of having employees with diverse skills, experiences, and abilities, we therefore, encourage applications from all backgrounds.

You will have access to a blended program of Wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Program. Other benefits include 25 days holiday, life assurance, stakeholder pension (employer contribution is matched up to 12%), complimentary zoo tickets with a 30% discount in shops and online, subsidised canteen, enhanced paternity and maternity leave, season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme, subsidised gym membership and access to a wide range of learning and development opportunities.

Person Specification

Qualifications & Experience 

  • Membership of the RCVS essential.
  • Specialist training/experience through residency training, fellowship, other certificates (CertAVP) and/or board certification, i.e. ACZM or ECZM (ZHM) is required.
  • Proven experience in the veterinary care of zoo and wild animals across a wide range of species essential, ideally with emphasis on taxa held at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
  • Experience in practical training of veterinary techniques and teaching in an academic environment.
  • Experience in the use of remote drug-delivery firearms and systems. 


  • Clear evidence, through long-term affiliations and memberships, of a commitment to and knowledge of, the conservation, health and welfare of wild animals.
  • In-depth knowledge of relevant legislation, including that pertaining to zoo licensing, animal welfare, the European Council ‘Balai’ Directive, CITES, animal health, health & safety in zoos, COSHH, firearms and veterinary medicines.


  • A record of relevant peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
  • A valid UK driving licence and the ability to travel independently between ZSL sites.
  • A current UK firearms license, or ability to fulfil the necessary criteria to obtain one.
  • Official Veterinarian status (in relevant qualifications), or the ability to become an OV.

To Apply

Applicants will need to upload their CV and covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the “Apply for this job online” button on the ZSL website. 

Closing date for applications: 23:59 on Sunday 10 July 2022

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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