Livestock are critical for ensuring human health and maintaining livelihoods

Livestock health and productivity are negatively impacted by the presence of endemic and emerging diseases, increasing the amount of resources needed to maintain these animals, which in turn increases competition for land, air and water. In response, hundreds of millions of dollars are invested globally on disease mitigation in order to improve livestock health and productivity, yet a systematic process to determine the burden of animal disease on the health and wellbeing of people is not available. It is unknown how the burden is apportioned between smallholders and the commercial sector, by region and gender. Consequently, decision makers lack the information to accurately assess whether their investments target the animal health issues that have the most significant impact on human wellbeing.

The Importance of Acting Now

In an environment where there is strong demand for evidence-based decision-making, it is no longer acceptable that investment decisions in the livestock sector have to be made on “guestimates” and untrustworthy data. Given that there are 1.3 billion vulnerable people in low- and middle-income economies who depend on livestock for both livelihoods and nutrition; these communities living on the margins deserve a system that services their needs and GBADs will be designed and implemented to do this.

In terms of biomass, the world is dominated by livestock (approximately 190kg of live animals per person). This global dominance of livestock species in land, water and air use means that the efficient use of these resources by livestock is important and becomingly increasing critical. The health status of livestock has a direct impact on resource use efficiency and effective targeting of mitigation interventions requires the information GBADs will generate.Our doors are always open, and we’re always happy to talk about our programs and services. 

In addition, human health assessments, including nutrition, pandemic threats and food-borne disease depend heavily on accurate data on animal populations and their management systems. These are currently not available at sufficient level of detail or resolution – a gap that GBADs will also address.

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