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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Study reviews 20 years of global livestock disease dynamics

Livestock-dependent smallholder and pastoralist systems in developing countries have been identified as one of three trajectories of global disease dynamics. (Photo credit: ILRI/Mann)

From a livestock and global change special feature in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (online 16 May 2011) comes a review paper on global livestock disease dynamics by Brian Perry, Delia Grace and Keith Sones.

Dr Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert, leads the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) research team on animal health and food safety for trade.

Lead author, Prof Brian Perry, is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK (based in Kenya), and Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa. A veterinary surgeon by profession, he previously worked at ILRI for 20 years and led the research team on animal health and food safety for trade.

Dr Keith Sones is an animal health specialist with the Nairobi-based Keith Sones Associates.

The paper reviews the changing patterns of livestock disease over the last 20 years, discusses the main drivers of these patterns and plots future trajectories of livestock disease risk and associated control.

While acknowledging the complexity of disease dynamics, the authors point to three main drivers of changing livestock disease dynamics: ecosystem change, ecosystem incursion, and movement of people and animals. Underlying these dynamics are the growing demand for livestock products (the Livestock Revolution) and increasing human population size.

Three trajectories of global disease dynamics are identified as: (1) the intensified and worried well of the Western world, (2) intensifying and market-orientated sectors of the developing world (hot spots) and (3) smallholder systems dependent on traditional livestock-derived livelihoods (cold spots).

Read the abstract

Perry BD, Grace D and Sones K. 2011. Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 16 May 2011. doi 10.1073/pnas.1012953108

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