As livestock farming intensifies in poor countries, so can livestock–and livestock-to-human–diseases

argylesock says… This focus on livestock is important. One reason it’s important is that several of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are zoonotic. That is, they can affect both humans and animals. You can follow my ‘tropical disease’ tag for more on what’s being done about NTDs, notably the London Declaration.

ILRI Clippings

A woman tethers her goats in a farm field in Busia, Kenya

The health of people and their farm animals in Kenya and other developing countries are closely linked (photo credit: ILRI/Charlie Pye-Smith).

‘While livestock contribute about 40 per cent of the value of agriculture and forms a crucial part of household wealth [in Kenya and many other developing countries], experts now say keeping animals is spreading disease and polluting the environment like never before.

‘They say that as smallholder agriculture intensifies—driven by increasing population, urbanisation and climate changes—livestock keeping is exhibiting its good and bad sides, impinging on the environment, poverty, food security and human health.

A recent study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) says that zoonotic diseases (those transmitted to people from animals) that have recently emerged from animals make up to one-quarter of the infectious disease burden in low-income countries. Animal diseases that threaten people’s health directly include food-borne illnesses such as diarrhoea. . . .

‘“A…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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