Career Spotlight of the Month (October 2019)
Name: Wendy Goldring/Cartwright RVT, MHO
Current Job: Meat Hygiene Officer (MHO) with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs
Q & A with Wendy
OAVT: Where did you go to school, and what made you decide to take a Veterinary Technology program?
Wendy: I went to St Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. I have always had a love for animals. We had dogs and beef cattle while I was growing up and I wanted to work at a job I was passionate about, as well as be able to educate the public.
OAVT: You were part of the first wave of "official" RVTs in 1990. How long have you been working in this field?
Wendy: I graduated from St Clair College in 1981 - so I guess that makes it 38 years! A long time!
OAVT: What kinds of RVT jobs have you had throughout your career?
Wendy: I worked in clinics from 1981 to 2007 - two small animal and one mixed practice, which I was at for 21 years.
OAVT: For the last 11 years you have been a Meat Hygiene Officer (MHO) with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, making sure animals are treated humanely and Ontarians have safe meat products. How has being an RVT helped you in this role?
Wendy: As an RVT, I was able to be certified as an MHO much quicker at the start of this career, and my knowledge of animal health, behaviour and welfare is a constant in my job.
OAVT: You're working in a very different environment compared to a traditional clinic setting. Do you find that moving out of "clinic life" has given your RVT career more longevity?
Wendy: Yes, I believe it has, because as a single woman I would not have been able to support my children and myself on a clinic salary.
OAVT: What do you love about your current job?
Wendy: I love that I am contributing to society by making sure safe meat products are being distributed in Ontario, and I love that I am our area trainer for Midhurst Food Inspection team. By working with OMAFRA I was able to obtain my Adult Education, Staff Training & Development Certificate from Seneca College in 2013 and this has helped me be a proficient and dependable trainer for new hires.
OAVT: What is a typical day at work like for you?
Wendy: A typical day is attending an abattoir/slaughterhouse early in the morning where I check the plant for sanitation. I then perform ante-mortem inspections on the livestock and report any abnormalities to our veterinary scientist. Next, I perform post mortem checks on each carcass to make sure it meets requirements for human consumption. I am required to monitor temperatures throughout the day and make sure regulations from the Food Safety and Quality Act are being met by the plant operator.
OAVT: RVTs are passionate people, and every RVT has an area they are most passionate about. What is your passion?
Wendy: Animal humane handling/welfare and teaching correct humane handling and welfare to plant employees, livestock owners and the public. I just enjoy teaching about animals, both large and small, in general.