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USDA veterinary chief John Clifford leaves role; agency veteran takes over


Clifford now chief trade advisor for import-export services.

John Clifford, DVM, has transitioned to a new role within the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) after 12 years as the agency's chief veterinary officer and deputy administrator for veterinary services. As of March 1 Clifford became the chief trade advisor for veterinary services national import-export services, according to an letter from APHIS administrator Kevin Shea. Clifford has been with the organization for more than 30 years in both administrative and field positions.

In his former role as deputy administrator, Clifford was actively engaged with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the international body whose goal is improving animal health worldwide, Shea notes. OIE helps ensure transparency with countries' disease status and that countries adhere to the latest science when establishing trade restrictions due to animal disease. As chief trade advisor Clifford will continue to liaise with the OIE on behalf of United States producers.

In a second letter Shea announced Jack Shere, DVM, MS, PhD, as acting USDA chief veterinary officer and deputy administrator for veterinary services. In this role Shere will lead the program in protecting and improving the health, quality and marketability of U.S. agricultural animals, animal products and veterinary biologics and will also oversee veterinary services' national and international reference laboratory network. 

Shere joined APHIS in 1990 and most recently served as the veterinary services' associate deputy administrator. He also has extensive experience with animal disease outbreaks, including Salmonella enteritidis, foot-and-mouth disease in England, low- pathogenic avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza, the letter says.

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