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Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases
For the diseases (or disease categories) it examines, the committee will assess the state of knowledge of each disease and its potential to cause animal health, human health, and social or economic impacts. The committee will review the etiology of the disease, the nature of the responsible pathogen(s), evidence and mechanisms of intra- and interspecific transmission of the diseases, and currently available and potential methods of diagnostic testing. Domestic and foreign approaches to prevention, detection, and diagnosis will be examined. For this initial phase of the review, recommendations will be provided on how to improve the nation’s ability to address animal diseases by reducing potential for intentional or accidental introduction, enhancing diagnostic techniques and their use, and improving detection capabilities. Knowledge gaps and future needs for progress in systems and policies will be identified.
report lays the foundation for two additional phases proposed for the study of the animal health framework (surveillance and monitoring in phase 2 and response and recovery in phase 3).
Given the complex, global, and sometimes rapidly changing nature of events affecting the animal health framework, the committee looked beyond farming and food-producing animals to consider a broader array of topics and players. For example, because of the emergence of new zoonoses with transmission routes through wildlife, such as West Nile virus, the committee’s approach includes threats to human and animal health from those sources. Beyond health concerns, the report also considers societal issues affected by animal disease outbreaks, such as economic impacts and food security. As a result, the report addresses a wide range and diversity of specific diseases from acute to chronic, endemic to exotic, and considers how naturally-occurring to intentionally spread might be handled. Box 1-2 presents a list of specific diseases examined in this report, which were selected to elaborate the need for an inclusive animal health infrastructure capable of preventing, detecting, and diagnosing a wide variety of animal health events.
Stakeholders with diverse perspectives involved in the animal health framework are the target audiences for this report, including animal producers, veterinarians, academic animal health educators and researchers, laboratory diagnosticians, state and federal elected officials, the public health community, state/local government officials, the technical community, policymakers, and the general public.