“Livestock sector is critical to increase food production”

Goat, outbreak; livestock

Improving animal health and welfare standards is key to increasing food production in ways that protect the environment and enhance resilience of livestock farmers, says the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

“Animal health and welfare are two cornerstones for the future of globally diversified livestock production,” said Monique Eloit, Director General of OIE at a recent Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) gathering.

Eloit said resilient animal health systems that are able to prevent and control animal diseases are needed more than ever as this had an impact on livelihoods of 750 million of the world’s poorest people.

“Every year up to 20% of the world’s livestock production is lost to animal diseases,” she said.

Christiane Wolf, Counsellor in the Agriculture and Commodities Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), called for harmonisation and affordability of disease control measures.

“Compliance challenges take the form of such requirements as setting up certification schemes and learning new knowledge.” Wolff argued that disease control regulations should be based on scientific evidence and harmonised as much as possible to keep compliance-related costs to a minimum.

“And developing countries will need to increase their capacities in managing livestock disease if they want to continue engaging the rules-based systems of industrialised countries,” she said.

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