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Royal Army Veterinary Corps

The Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) provides the service lead in the development of good husbandry, training practice, preventive medicine and care for Military Working [Pte Ainslie Rees with a military working dog] Animals (MWAs).

Pte Ainslie Rees with a military working dog

The RAVC are deeply involved with all aspects of military animal activity, providing Military Working Dog (MWD) capability in support of the Field Army (where it goes the RAVC goes).

It is heavily involved in the procurement, training and maintenance of MWDs for the remainder of Defence and provides similar support to both the Household Cavalry and The King's Troop RHA with the procurement, training and maintenance of Military Working Horses and input to their ceremonial programmes.

The RAVC currently has a pivotal role to play in Defence, providing the handling and training expertise for a range of Military Working Dog (MWD) classifications working in the Force Protection (protect) and Search (manoeuvre) spheres. Veterinary Officers use their expertise to command and manage soldiers, MWDs, equipment as well as being employed clinically to maintain the health and welfare of the MWAs, provide advice on zoonotic disease and environmental health matters.

The RAVC Officer cadre is made up of Direct Entry, Professionally Qualified Officers (Vets) and Late Entry Officers (those that have come through the ranks). It has two soldier cadres, Dog Handlers (they may gain training qualifications) and Veterinary Technicians (who may also be Registered Veterinary Nurses).

RAVC personnel enjoy a challenging and varied career involved in all aspects of the use of animals for military purposes, from the animals' procurement, through their initial assessment and training. Ensuring the maintenance of the animals' health, welfare and fitness throughout their service life is of the highest standard enables them to be used to their full operational capacity.

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