Hello, I’m Dr. Bill Huls, Facilities Manager with USDA APHIS’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). I have been with APHIS since 2002. The CVB regulates the industry that manufacturers veterinary biological products including animal vaccines and diagnostic test kits. I communicate with firms on a daily basis to help ensure they are maintaining compliance with federal regulations. This includes managing documents and items that relate to those firms – things like policies and procedures used by the manufacturer to prepare their products, procedures for who enters and exits the facility, the organization and arrangement of the facilities they make their product in, etc. I also conduct inspections of facilities that manufacture biological products. The work performed by the CVB helps ensure both animal and human health is safeguarded.
I decided to become a veterinarian when I was 18 after spending time with a veterinary practitioner in my hometown. Following completion of veterinary school I joined a small animal practice. Eventually, I bought my own practice. My practice years allowed me to have some pretty cool and challenging experiences.
Having a desire for a change, I sold my practice and pursued a residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine at the University of California – Davis. After completing that program I began my career with the USDA.
The very first inspection I performed for APHIS was a valuable learning experience. I worked side-by-side with an experienced inspector who taught be what to look for and how to effectively communicate our findings with the company. This experience helped me get started on the right foot, which was very important for my future success.
Jumping over to the regulatory side of veterinary medicine was a good switch for me. Working for the government has been a rewarding experience while providing job stability, which is particularly important in these tough economic times. My life has more balance now than in my ‘practice’ years, and I find it very rewarding to contribute to animal health by ensuring that veterinary biologic products are pure, safe, potent and effective. I encourage veterinary students and veterinarians alike to learn as much as they can about as many species as they can and keep their options open, because you never know where your career will take you.
It has been both an honor and pleasure for me to play an active role in keeping animals healthy and save animals’ lives.