‘The livestock boom could increase the number of animal plagues while further compromising food security.
‘The Deputy Director General of research at the International Livestock Research Institute – ILRI John McDermott said increasing the numbers of domestic livestock through resource-intensive production methods is increasing animal epidemics around the world.
‘McDermott says the problem is more acute in developing countries, where livestock diseases present a growing threat to the food security of already vulnerable populations.
‘The new assessment was released Friday at the International Conference on Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute -IFPRI in Delhi, India. . . .
‘According to the research, livestock diseases jeopardize food security in the developing world where about 700 million people keep farm animals and up to 40 percent of household income depends on animals and animal products impacting negatively on the main source of source of protein.
‘”A remarkable 61 percent of all human pathogens, and 75% of new human pathogens, are transmitted by animals, and some of the most lethal bugs affecting humans originate in our domesticated animals,” said McDermott. . . .
‘Researchers are now urging for the establishment of surveillance systems that are able to detect animal disease outbreaks in their earliest stages in order to effectively contain an outbreak.’
Read the whole story at KBC (Kenya): ILRI warns over livestock boom, 11 February 2011.
Read a related article in the Economist: Hots spots: How changing farming habits threaten public health, 10 February 2011.
To follow the conference proceedings, go to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) webpage: Leveraging agriculture for improving nutrition and health.