Animal Scientist

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 in their specific environment, and the products they produce such as meat, milk, eggs, fibres, leather, and a variety of products essential to man.  This includes the development of new products and the processing and marketing of animal products.  They study the effects of management practices, processing methods, feed or environmental conditions on the quality and quantity of animal products, such as eggs and milk.  They also study the nutritional requirements of animals and the nutritive values of animal feed materials.  They advise producers about improved products and techniques that could enhance their animal production efforts, and develop improved practices in feeding, housing, sanitation or parasite and disease control of animals.

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 control breeding practices to improve strains of animals.  They determine the genetic composition of animal populations and heritability of traits, utilising the principles of genetics, crossbreeding animals with existing strains or cross strains to obtain new combinations of desirable characteristics.

Animal scientists make an important contribution in the following areas: assisting the agricultural industry to effectively utilise 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.  They communicate their research findings to the scientific community, producers and the public.

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 specialisation include animal nutrition, animal breeding, animal management and the quality control of meat.  The nature of the work varies from working directly with animals to the fundamentals of molecular biotechnology in the laboratory.


  • research organisations

  • Agricultural Research Council

  • CSIR

  • companies involved in farming

  • manufacturing industries

  • Department of Agriculture

  • agricultural colleges and universities                                                                  

  • agricultural advisors and consultants  

  • livestock industry

Getting Started

  • speak to an animal scientist about the work

  • try to obtain vacation work, which offers experience working with animals, such as on a farm, in a pet shop, or with a veterinary surgeon


Africa University, Alliance International University, Anglican University College of Technology, Bindura University of Science Education, Botswana College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bugema University, Busoga University, Chuka University, College of Intergrated Healthcare, Egerton University, Gaborone University College of Law and Professional Studies, Gideon Roberts University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Tanzania), Karatina University, Kenya Methodist University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kyambogo University, Makerere University, Maseno University, Meru University of Science and Technology, Methodist University College Ghana, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, Mulungushi University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Nkumba University, North-West University, Nsaka University, Pwani University College, Rongo University College, Rusangu University, Sokoine University of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, University of Eldoret, University of Energy and Natural Resources, University of Ghana, University of Kisubi, University of Limpopo, University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of the Free State, University of Zambia, Walter Sisulu University


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