Animal scientists are concerned with the study, rearing and management of domesticated animals. They use their expertise to assist in the growth and development of the agricultural industry.
They conduct research on livestock and the products they produce such as meat, milk, eggs, fibres, leather, and a variety of products essential to man.
Animal scientists advise on the production and presentation of animal products. They conduct research in the areas of animal selection, breeding, feeding, housing and disease control. Some may control breeding practices to improve strains of animals.
Animal scientists make an important contribution in the following areas: assisting the agricultural industry to effectively utilize the natural resources in the country; vital research in the problems of breeding, feeding, housing and disease control; conserving and ensuring the rich biodiversity of animal species found in the country; keeping the country up-to-date with developments in biotechnology in order to remain globally competitive.
The nature of the work varies from working directly with animals and research in laboratories, to travelling in order to consult various parties in the industry. Some animal scientists work in offices and lecture rooms of agricultural colleges and universities or in offices of control boards. Others spend time outdoors working with animals on agricultural experimental farms, company farms, or private research stations.
Areas of specialization include: animal nutrition; animal breeding; animal management; and quality control of meat.
- working with animals
- the challenge and variety of the work
- good opportunities for promotion
- opportunities to specialize
- the possibility of doing research in areas of one's personal interest
- the frustration involved in doing research work
- the need for advanced, post-graduate degrees to obtain more responsible positions
An animal scientist should:
- be curious and imaginative
- have scientific aptitude
- be thorough and patient
- enjoy working with animals
- have good communication skills both in speech and in writing
- have ability to work independently or as part of a team
- have good health, physical stamina
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: Physical Science
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences
Degree: A four-year BSc(Agric) degree can be obtained at the following universities in South Africa: Fort Hare, NWU, NMMU, UFS, UKZN, UL, UNISA, UP, US, UV, Agricultural Colleges
Diploma: CUT, CPUT, TUT
Qualified animal scientists register with the South African Council for Professional Animal Scientists.
- Research organisations
- Agricultural Research Council
- Companies involved in farming
- Manufacturing industries
- The Department of Agriculture
- Agricultural colleges and universities
- Agricultural advisors
- Livestock industry
- Agricultural consultants
SA Association for Professional Animal Scientists
P O Box 13884
Tel: (012) 420-3268 Fax: (012) 420-3290
South African Board for Professional Animal Scientists
Private Bag X 11303
The South African Society for Animal Science
P O Box 5180