Ben Huntington (University of Liverpool), Theresa Bernardo (University of Guelph), Melba Bondad-Reantaso (FAO), Mieghan Bruce (Murdoch University), Brecht Devleesschauwer (Sciensano), William Gilbert (University of Liverpool), Delia Grace (University of Greenwich), Mario Herrero (Cornell University), Tom Marsh (Washington State University), Shannon Mesenhowski (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Dustin Pendell (Kansas State University), David Pigott (IHME, University of Washington), Alexandra Shaw (Edinburgh University, AP Consultants), Deborah Stacey (University of Guelph), Paul Torgerson (University of Zurich), Kevin Watkins (Food First), Barbara Wieland (IRLI), and Jonathan Rushton (University of Liverpool), who are all members of the Global Burden of Animal Diseases Programme have produced the now published article Global Burden of Animal Diseases: a novel approach to understanding and managing disease in livestock and aquaculture.
Investments in animal health and Veterinary Services can have a measurable impact on the health of people and the environment. These investments require a baseline metric that describes the burden of animal health and welfare in order to justify and prioritise resource allocation and from which to measure the impact of interventions. This paper is part of a process of scientific enquiry in which problems are identified and solutions sought in an inclusive way. It poses the broad question: what should a system to measure the animal disease burden on society look like and what value would it add? Moreover, it aims to do this in such a way as to be accessible by a wide audience, who are encouraged to engage in this debate. Given that farmed animals, including those raised by poor smallholders, are an economic entity, this system should be based on economic principles. These poor farmers are negatively impacted by disparities in animal health technology, which can be addressed through a mixture of supply-led and demand-driven interventions, reinforcing the relevance of targeted financial support from government and non-governmental organisations. The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) Programme will glean existing data to measure animal health losses within carefully characterised production systems. Consistent and transparent attribution of animal health losses will enable meaningful comparisons of the animal disease burden to be made between diseases, production systems and countries, and will show how it is apportioned by people’s socio-economic status and gender. The GBADs Programme will produce a cloud-based knowledge engine and data portal, through which users will access burden metrics and associated visualisations, support for decision making in the form of future animal health scenarios, and the outputs of wider economic modelling. The vision of GBADs, strengthening the food system for the benefit of society and the environment, is an example of One Health thinking in action.
The full issue of the Scientific and Technical Review, volume 40 (2) on ‘Veterinary Services in a changing world: climate change and other external factors’ has been finalised and is now available with Open Access on the OIE’s documentary portal. You can find the full publication and other articles in the OIE Schientific and Technical Review here.