Dr. John J. Martin, 85, a retired veterinarian with the Department of Agriculture who specialized in livestock and stockyard inspections, died May 22 at Georgetown University Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

Dr. Martin was born in Newport, R. I. He came to Washington in 1913 and worked for the U.S. Patent Office and then the Post Office while attending night classes at the old U.S. College of Veterinary Surgeons here. He graduated in 1917.

In the same year, he entered the Army veterinary corps and spent two years overseas during and after World War I.

He began his career with the Agriculature Department in Newark, N.J. in 1919. He was a meat inspector and later was in charge of meat inspections in various cities in Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa and New Jersey.

In 1948, he was transferred to the headquarters of the department's Agricultural Research Service in Washington. He was assistant chief of the interstate inspection division until 1954 and then was placed in charge of the interstate regulations enforcement section. In 1958 he was named head of the public stockyards section of the animal disease eradication division. He was a senior staff veterinarian at the time of his retirement in 1965.

Dr. Martin was a member of the National Association of Federal Veterianians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the U.S. Animal Health Associaton and the D.C. Veterinary Medical Association.He also was a member of American Legion Post No. 76 at the Department of Agriculture. He lived in Washington.

His wife, Anna Pfeifer Martin, died in 1974. He leaves no immediate survivors.