Soi Dog Foundation warns the importance of global animal health is being overlooked in the fight against pandemics
At least 75% of all new human infectious diseases emerge from animals, including the likes of Covid-19, SARS, Rabies and Ebola (UNEP). Looking ahead, it is vital that we take a One Health approach and recognise the complex relationship between humans, animals and the environment.
The letter, penned by the Action for Animal Health coalition, calls for an immediate injection of funding to map the gaps and train more veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals to standards established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). By keeping animals healthy and remaining vigilant for new disease outbreaks, veterinarians play a critical role in preventing the next pandemic.
Action for Animal Health, which officially launches the week of May 24 to coincide with the OIE General Assembly, is a coalition of organisations working together to call on policymakers to invest in strengthening animal health systems. Key focuses include the need to increase and improve the global animal health workforce, increase the availability of veterinary medicines and vaccines, improve animal disease detection and surveillance, support community education and promote the One Health approach.