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ILRI and partners call for greater investment in global animal health in the fight against pandemics


World Veterinary Day is observed every last Saturday of April to raise awareness on the important roles veterinarians play in safeguarding the health and safety of animals.

To mark World Veterinary Day 2021, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has joined a number of international organizations in signing an open letter calling on governments and international agencies to invest in animal health and welfare in order to prevent another pandemic.

At least 75% of all new human infectious diseases emerge from animals. Looking ahead, it is vital that we take a One Health approach and recognise the complex relationship between humans, animals and the environment.

The letter, penned by the Action for Animal Health coalition, calls for an immediate injection of funding to map the gaps and train more veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals to standards established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

By keeping animals healthy and remaining vigilant for new disease outbreaks, veterinarians play a critical role in preventing the next pandemic.

Action for Animal Health, which officially launches the week of 24 May 2021 to coincide with the OIE General Assembly, is a coalition of organizations working together to call on policymakers to invest in strengthening animal health systems.

Key focuses include the need to increase and improve the global animal health workforce, increase the availability of veterinary medicines and vaccines, improve animal disease detection and surveillance, support community education and promote the One Health approach.

To find out more about the Action for Animal Health coalition and read the letter in full, please visit

Header photo: ILRI is working towards more effective livestock vaccines (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu)


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