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Monday, 30th December 2013

World Livestock 2013: Changing Disease Landscapes

Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

From the Foreword:

In today’s world, we humans have become increasingly linked not only to each other, but also to all other life on the planet. Human health has become ever more intertwined with the health of our environment and the animals that populate it – the animals we rely on for food, draught power, savings, security and companionship as well as the wildlife inhabiting sky, land and sea. Diseases emerge, spread and persist in humans, livestock and wildlife, affecting all three with often devastating consequences. We are more in contact with animals than ever before, and livestock and wildlife are more in contact with each other. It is time for us to acknowledge the degree to which our health is connected to the health of animals and the environment. It is time for us to focus on global health.

This is the perspective of the 2013 issue of Fao’s World Livestock – Changing disease landscapes. It explains the pressures behind the disease dynamics affecting humans, livestock and wildlife and considers the state of livestock and global health with a focus on where health threats are on the rise. It makes the point that livestock diseases need to be part of global health protection efforts that all parts of human society can embrace, develop and implement together.

With regard to the pressures and the state of livestock and global health, this publication shows clearly that disease must be addressed at its source, particularly in animals. Livestock health is the weakest link in our global health chain, and disease drivers in livestock as well as wildlife are having increasing impacts on humans. Over 70 percent of human diseases originate in animals, and our expanding human population is inhabiting more wilderness while becoming ever more reliant on animals for food. Livestock densities are changing, and production systems are impacting each other in new ways. livestock-related trade is on the rise, and climate change is creating new opportunities for animal diseases to thrive. Food chain dynamics are enabling more diseases to develop more quickly, and the degradation of natural habitats is reducing natural coping mechanisms.


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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