practitioners who may be in distant locations. Veterinary technicians working with veterinarians have the potential to strengthen the nation’s capacity to implement and administer health surveillance and early warning systems in rural America. Supporting this capacity could be an opportunity for private-public partnerships.
CONCLUSION 5: Global food security is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century. The food and water security and safety concerns confronting the world today are far more daunting than anything veterinary medicine has previously had to confront. Because these challenges are enormously complex, they will require the veterinary profession to engage in interdisciplinary and interprofessional One Health solutions.
One Health issues cut across the interests of both industrialized and developing countries. The rapid urbanization in many newly-industrializing societies will create significant challenges to public health related to the spread of disease, the availability of clean water resources, the safety and abundance of food production, and the quality of the natural environment. These are local-scale issues with global implications. In view of the importance of increasing world food supplies, and the growing global trade in foods of animal origin, the establishment of global health programs would strengthen veterinary manpower in developing countries while protecting U.S. and global interests.
Recommendation 5: Veterinary medical organizations and the deans of veterinary colleges should work to increase the visibility, standing, and potential of the profession to address global food security. Establishing a One Health think tank with the goal of advancing food-animal husbandry and welfare policies, ecosystem health standards, and the capacity of the veterinary profession in the developing world would help future generations of veterinarians to collaborate across professions, disciplines and cultures. A part of this body should also consider the necessary competencies required of U.S. veterinary graduates to address the global challenges of food and water safety and security, and the health of wildlife and ecosystems.
The scientific and medical issues at the nexus of animal, human, and ecosystem health are of growing importance, and knowledge can be gained from understanding how changes in one system can affect others. To meet the demand for animal protein by a growing world population, animal production in the developing world has expanded, and with it has come increased environmental pollution, food-safety concerns, and the potential for infectious diseases to spread. Antibiotic resistance, greenhouse-gas emissions, and feed- and food-based toxins are the issues the veterinary medical profession is poised to address, but ultimately, defining and implementing the priorities for a One Health