Greater One Health dialogue needed for a healthier future
AnimalhealthEurope strongly encourages greater exchange between human health, animal health and environmental disciplines, to develop practical collaboration that takes the complexities and inter-relationships of these different areas into account.
The European Commission is actively promoting the application of the One Health approach within the EU, encouraging collaboration between sectors to help combat challenges such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), but further exploration into a wider One Health strategy going beyond AMR, is recommended for a more integrated approach.
Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General commented:
“The validity of the One Health concept that human, animal and environmental health are interconnected is clearer, now more than ever. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it should be that greater One Health action is needed to control emerging infectious diseases and protect our collective health moving forward. This will require policies that support such actions as:
- Building effective collaboration between animal and human health sectors;
- Improving surveillance for early detection of disease threats in both people and animals;
- Strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacities for novel pathogens;
- Improving disease case management and infection control;
- Developing epidemic preparedness and response capacities for emerging zoonoses.
Protecting animal health not only helps to protect against the transmission of animal-borne diseases. But it also helps to protect essential food sources. Safe and sustainable food production is a key element of One Health, and healthy animals contribute both to safe food and our food security, while minimising impacts on the environment. This is why AnimalhealthEurope recommends a One Health transition to sustainable food production under the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. Healthy, well-managed livestock can contribute to important ecosystem functions and to our collective health in the future.”