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One health
Improving human health and equality through sustainable livestock

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AROUND 1.3 billion people rely on livestock for their livelihoods and there is huge potential to improve the health and equality of people and the environment through instigating sustainable livestock programmes and disease control. This was a message to emerge from a One Health colloquium on sustainable livestock and disease control, hosted by Chatham House on May 31 and June 1. Those attending the meeting heard that, by using efficient production methods, emissions from livestock could be reduced by 20 to 30 per cent, but different production systems would need different interventions, which would give different benefits. Therefore, there was a need to develop flexibility rather than choose one solution for all.

Looking at the contribution livestock-derived food could make to human nutrition, Delia Grace, of the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya, described the influence it could have in the first 1000 days of life. This, she said, was a crucial period and it was important to have better food rather than just more food. If children did not get good enough nutrition their growth could be impaired. This situation was ‘intrinsically complicated’, she said, as some children were getting too much food and others were getting too little, often depending on how rich a country was becoming. It was also worth highlighting the risk from livestock-derived protein in terms of foodborne disease, as recent research had shown there to be a higher burden of disease …

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