News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Monday, February 21, 2011

ILRI in the news: Call for new approaches against livestock diseases that affect human health

Young women herd goats in Rajasthan

Young women herd goats in Rajasthan, India: Multi-sectoral approaches are needed in the fight against animal diseases that affect humans. (Photo credit: ILRI/Mann)

The intimate linkages between agriculture, nutrition and health were the focus of discussion at a recent global conference organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in New Delhi, India from 10-12 Februrary 2011.

The theme of the conference was Leveraging agriculture for improving nutrition and health. Some 1000 participants from the agriculture, health and nutrition sectors attended, representing various academic, research, policy, development, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Among the featured presentations was one by veterinary scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Dr John McDermott, ILRI's deputy director general in charge of research, and Dr Delia Grace, veterinary epidemiologist and food safety specialist with ILRI's Market Opportunities theme.

In their presentation on agriculture-associated diseases, McDermott and Grace called for the adoption of multi-disciplinary approaches to tackling these emerging infectious diseases that are a threat to humans, animals, agriculture and ecosystems.

A summary may be found in this ILRI policy brief titled Agriculture-associated diseases: Adapting agriculture to improve human health.

Below are links to related media coverage.

The Guardian's Poverty Matters blog
Animal farming and human health are intimately linked

The Economist
Hot spots: How changing farming habits threaten public health

SciDev.Net
Livestock surge may harm human health

Voice of America (VoANews.com)
Growing global appetite for meat, milk presents health risks

In addition, here's a related story from the ILRI News blog
Livestock boom risks aggravating animal ‘plagues,’ poses growing threat to food security and health of world’s poor

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