Livestock and Animal Health
Livestock are important in supporting the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers, traders and labourers throughout the developing world. Diseases affecting livestock can have a devastating impact on animal productivity and production, on trade in live animals, meat and other animal products, on human health and, consequently, on the overall process of economic development.
As a result of globalisation and climate change the world is currently facing an unprecedented increase of emerging and re-emerging animal diseases and zoonoses (animal diseases transmissible to humans).
Improving the governance of animal health systems in both the public and private sector is the most effective response to this alarming situation. The recently experienced animal disease crises have provided a clearer understanding of the benefits to the international community of applying the appropriate animal health policies and programmes in order to safeguard public health and ensure food safety.
The Animal Health Service within the AGA Division of FAO addresses four animal health related issues: transboundary diseases, vectorial diseases, veterinary public health (including food safety) and veterinary services. The latter must join forces and encourage the more active participation of the private sector defining complementary roles for each with specific responsibilities in order of improve and/or maintain the overall sanitary status of a country.