Animal Inspector Opening

The Town of Worthington is looking for a new Animal Inspector for the current fiscal year. The position is appointed auuallty by the Selectboard and there is a stipend of $734.

Animal Inspector Responsibilities

The Animal Inspector operates under the authority in MGL Chapter 129. Municipal animal inspector duties support the enforcement of the MDAR policies and regulations. This is the link to mass.gov animal inspector duties; https://www.mass.gov/service-details/municipal-animal-inspector-qualifications-and-duties

Animal Inspectors are responsible for barn inspections performed annually. Barn inspections are designed to: 

1.       get a good census of the domestic animal population of the town 

2.       be sure that all of the animals appear to be in good health and free from disease, and 

3.       observe animal housing and ensure ample food and water are supplied. 

The annual barn inspections are intended to be conducted at any property in town where any number of livestock or poultry (including horses) are being housed, even if it is just one animal on the property.  We do not include household pets (dogs and cats), but potbellied pigs are included as they can harbor the same illnesses as swine raised for food.  We would not need to count rabbits if someone is just maintaining one or two as pets, but if someone is breeding rabbits for meat and/or sale, we’d like them to be included. 

The animal inspector must receive consent for the annual barn inspections. This requires a lot of groundwork in communication. Sometimes a call will do, but otherwise a written letter and/or knock on the door is needed. Following communication, if the owner is still uncooperative, then the inspector would need to obtain an administrative search warrant to complete the inspection, through their authority granted in MGL. There is certainly a lot of back-and-fourth and time invested to schedule the inspections. 

The inspector needs to evaluate the animals appearance, shelter, environment, and food/water supply. The time for the inspection itself may vary depending on the quantity of animals, size of property, etc. but we do ask animal inspectors take their time and be thorough inspecting all animal areas. The animal inspector should also try to build a relationship with the owner as these inspections are performed annually and owner cooperation will help the inspections to be successful.  A property that does not pass inspection would need to be reinspected until adequate improvements are made. 

The barn inspection forms are confidential Emergency Preparedness Documents, for MDAR purposes, and animal inspectors are instructed not to provide the inspection slips to anyone, including other town officials, for any reason. The animal inspector can notify their supervisor of being on a property and notate timing of the inspections performed. Again, in addition to the inspections there is preliminary communication and follow-up required. 

An animal inspector is responsible for livestock import permits. MDAR will send a permit to the municipal animal inspector to make them aware of certain livestock species (cattle, alpacas or llamas) purchased and are being imported by a resident in their town. This permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue. The animal inspector would need to inspect the animals and health certificate in order to complete an import permit and return their inspection information to MDAR. 

Rabies quarantines are an inspectors primary duty. They are also responsible for the quarantine of other disease outbreaks and sometimes illegal import quarantines. An animal inspector needs to be available to serve a quarantine immediately  (within normal business hours the same day or by the next business day) after their investigation determines a domestic animal may have been exposed to rabies. This will require time to communicate with all parties involved and fully investigate every report received.

There only two legal ways to issue a quarantine order; hand it to the owner or post it where the animal is being quarantined. Mailing a quarantine would not be a legal issuance. Issuing a quarantine will require communication and travel. The inspector has authority to evaluate the quarantined animal throughout the quarantine and to ensure quarantine protocol is being followed by the owner.  We ask owners to continually communicate with their animal inspector and veterinarian during quarantine. At the end of the quarantine period the animal needs to be evaluated, in-person, by the inspector. 

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