Good animal health and welfare promotes high productivity, efficient use of natural resources, lower greenhouse gas emissions per kg of milk, meat, egg wool and hide, produced, reduction of the need for antimicrobials, protection of farmers and consumers from food borne and other zoonoses, secured livelihood for farmers and food security and increase consumers trust in the livestock sector. Thus, animal health and welfare relate to all the sustainability dimensions of livestock adopted by the Global Agenda (FAO, 2018) and are relevant in capital intensive, labour intensive as well as extensive (pastoralist) systems across economic settings. Reasons for not implementing good animal health and welfare practices may be due to a lack of resources or competence among producers or authorities, traditions or cultural issues, or doubts about whether they contribute to increased profit. In the preparation of the MSP meeting in Kansas the following areas were identified as particularly important for sustainability within the animal health and welfare realm: Impact of animal disease, Zoonoses and pandemics, Foodborne diseases, Antimicrobial resistance and Animal welfare. In this paper we elaborate on ways to improve animal health and welfare under these five headings, both in general terms and some times by using specific examples from around the world.
Magnusson, U., Apley, M., Boqvist, S., and Doyle, R. Animal health and welfare for a sustainable livestock sector. Publication pending.