Global burden of animal diseases

This project will identify the deficiencies of the animal health system and offer solutions to support the needs of smallholder farmers, commercial operations and society as a whole.

Across the world, livestock production and aquaculture are critical to human nutrition and health. These animals play critical roles in society, providing income and food, but also clothing, building materials, fertilizer and draught power. However, the presence of endemic and emerging diseases, as well as other factors, negatively impact them, jeopardizing their contributions.

Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are invested globally on disease mitigation in order to improve livestock health and productivity. Yet, a systematic way to determine the burden of animal disease on the health and wellbeing of people is not available.

It is still unknown how the burden is apportioned between smallholders and the commercial sector, or across regions and gender. Consequently, decision-makers lack the information to accurately assess whether their investments target the animal health issues that have the most significant impact on human wellbeing.

The International Livestock Research Institute will investigate and apply approaches to improve understanding of the burden of animal disease in farming systems in Ethiopia. This work will act as a case study, providing insights relevant to other settings and methods that can be used elsewhere.