(1) Between 1940 and 1945, personnel of the VC conducted a food
inspection service that resulted in the inspection of more than 142 bi II ion pounds of
meat and dairy products. Enormous quantities of perishable foods were also procured,
transported, and distributed on a worldwide basis and under the most adverse
(2) More than gross inspection of the service was laboratory analysis to
substantiate organoleptic tests and detect deficiencies not otherwise discernible. The
11 laboratories in the US and the 23 similar units overseas analyzed approximately
225,000 food specimens of animal origin.
(3) Because World War II was a global war, the activities of these
laboratories varied widely according to the quality and quantity of available perishable
foodstuffs and the type of animal diseases endemic in the region. Some diseases were
readily prevented by an animal immunization program conducted by the VC under its
responsibility or preventing and controlling animal diseases in man.
(4) Although its activities were chiefly centered on food inspection during
World War II, the VC was also responsible for the professional care of over 56,000
horses and mules used by the Army; thousands of Army war dogs; pigeons used by the
Signal Corps; animals used in laboratories for experimental purposes and for production
of sera; and livestock of various types.
f. As the years have passed, the tasks of the VC have increased and grown in
complexity. Today, the VC is concerned with problems such as survival in space,
freeze-drying and irradiation in food preservation, and immunizations to protect man
from animal borne and food borne diseases.
3-23. FUNCTIONS OF THE VETERINARY CORPS
The Army Veterinary Service of today has four major functions.
a. Food Hygiene, Safety, and Quality Assurance. Food inspection is the
major function of the Army Veterinary Service as far as manpower and resources are
concerned. Fifty percent or more of the officers and 90 percent of the enlisted
personnel are engaged in some phase of food inspection. The purpose of this
inspection is to determine the wholesomeness and quality of food from the time of
purchase until it is ready to be consumed. Most of the effort is spent inspecting foods of
animal origin (meats, eggs, dairy products, and so forth). The food issued to dining
facilities and the food purchased by open messes, clubs, post-exchange, snack bars,
and commissaries is inspected by the Army Veterinary Service. The Veterinary Service
does not duplicate the inspection service of other Federal agencies. For example,
veterinary units do not perform ante-mortem inspections of food animals in the US
because the Department of Agriculture makes such inspections. On the other hand,
this type of inspection is made in overseas areas.