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One Health legislation

Contributing to pandemic prevention through law

​FAO. 2020. One Health legislation: Contributing to pandemic prevention through law. Rome. 

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    Identifying One Health priorities in Asia and the Pacific region
    Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC36)
    Human, animal, plant and environmental health are intimately connected through the ecological realities governing life. Our health depends on the health of the environment, which provides us, at a minimum, with the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. With rapid population growth, as well as globalization and environmental degradation, health threats have become more complex. Solutions cannot be found by one sector alone. The problems affecting human health, terrestrial and aquatic animals, plants, and the environment can be effectively resolved only through improved coordination, communication and collaborative actions across disciplines and sectors, and that these are sustainable solutions. This has come to be called the One Health approach. To date, One Health has primarily engaged the public health sector and veterinary services and largely focused on addressing zoonotic diseases, Antimicrobial Resistance, food safety, and an occasional focus on emerging infectious diseases. One Health has yet to properly engage the Ministries responsible for wildlife, biodiversity, ecosystems, natural resource management and the environment. One Health programming has yet to be applied to protecting or restoring biodiversity and ecosystems from anthropogenic drivers of degradation known to contribute to the emergence of zoonotic pathogens, and transmission of diseases among wildlife and livestock. It is these upstream interventions that are also needed to prevent spillover events and mitigate health threats. This paper provides an overview on One Health, technical areas where One Health is being applied, and current gaps in One Health programming. FAO has long-standing experience in supporting Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock and national veterinary services in the region.
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    Carcass management guidelines
    Effective disposal of animal carcasses and contaminated materials on small to medium-sized farms
    Animal disease outbreaks pose many challenges for response authorities that can impact livelihoods, food security, and the environment. Proper disposal of animal carcasses that die or are culled during the outbreak is a key component of a successful response to a disease outbreak because it helps prevent or mitigate the further spread of pathogens and in case of zoonotic disease, to further protect human health. The practical guidelines presented hereby provide carcass and related waste management considerations and recommended procedures for use by Veterinary Services and other official response authorities when developing animal disease outbreak containment and eradication plans. The guidelines apply to animal disease outbreaks of varying sizes, whether the outbreak is isolated to a single premise or spans a region to cover numerous premises. However, they are focused on small to medium-sized holdings in countries without access to engineered landfills, rendering plants or controlled incinerators. The guidelines are written in the spirit of “keep it simple and doable”, considering the limited human and financial resources that many countries are constrained with. Its presentation and practical approach ensure that countries will find it very useful for their emergency operation procedures toolbox. Further, the guidelines directly contribute to the one-health approach by protecting the health of animals, humans, and the environment.
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    Strengthening Regional Capacities to Address COVID-19 Impacts on Animal Health Sector in East and Southeast Asia - TCP/RAS/3801 2023
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    In December 2019, China reported cases of pneumonia with an unknown cause in Wuhan City. The causative agent was later attributed to a novel coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2. The virus quickly spread and became a global health threat, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and as a pandemic in March 2020. The outbreak was believed to be associated with a wet market in Wuhan where seafood and wild animals were sold. This was corroborated by environmental samples from the market that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 was suspected to have originated in bats and spread among humans, yet the transmission through livestock was believed possible. Some companion animals, such as dogs, cats and ferrets, have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after close contact with infected humans. However, it is unclear whether these animals played a role in the spread of the virus among humans. In light of the One Health approach, there was a need to strengthen the capacities of animal health services to detect, prevent and manage the likely transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at the animal–human interface. The Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is well positioned to provide technical and operational support, in collaboration with FAO headquarters and ECTAD country teams, to address the impact of COVID-19 on food security, livelihoods related to livestock and the animal–human interface.

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