Climate Change: A Factor in Emerging Animal Diseases?
“The experts confirmed that there are correlations between the various factors linking animal production systems, human influence on the environment, climate change and emerging diseases, but they reaffirmed that these correlations involve mechanisms of very great complexity, making them extremely difficult to measure and the value of any forecasts most uncertain”, declared Dr Gideon Brückner from South Africa, who chaired the group of experts.
Human impact on the environment and climate change are not without consequences for the epidemiological evolution of certain pathogens capable of causing animal and/or human diseases. The OIE state that the world is currently witnessing an acceleration of the emergence or re-emergence of unexpected epidemiological events: for example, at least one new disease appears every year.
these correlations involve mechanisms of very great complexity, making them extremely difficult to measure and the value of any forecasts most uncertain
Dr Gideon Brückner
Dr Gideon Brückner
“For a number of years the OIE has been implementing policies aimed at helping its Member Countries to be better prepared for the consequences of intensified animal production. The aim is to meet world demand and to be prepared to deal with new epidemiological events, most of which are related to human-caused environmental changes” stated Dr Vallat, Director General of THE OIE.
To that end the OIE supports its Member Countries by helping them to strengthen their Veterinary Services through a procedure known as the PVS (Performance of Veterinary Services). Throughout the world, these Services are in the frontline, alongside animal producers, to ensure early detection and rapid response to deal with sanitary events presenting a threat to animals and humans.
The OIE also urges the unremitting development of research programmes aimed at devising environmentally friendly animal production systems and, in parallel, suitable biosecurity methods to ensure better disease prevention and control.