Prevention of future pandemics and major health events requires cooperation across health sectors and disciplines via a One Health approach.
Acting Australian Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Beth Cookson said One Health Day is a timely reminder of the importance of using a collaborative approach, across human, animal, plant and environmental health, for disease prevention and management.
“The impact of animal disease outbreaks is multifaceted - it’s more than just the obvious risk to animal health,” Dr Cookson said.
“There are risks to human health from zoonotic diseases, and there are wider implications of disease outbreaks on Australia’s economy, international trade, society and the environment.
“Given both wildlife and domestic animals are potential sources and victims of disease, with 75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases having an animal origin, it is imperative that wildlife health is monitored and understood.
“The department is committed to this One Health approach. We have funded the One Health Surveillance Initiative at Wildlife Health Australia, which promotes One Health practices into wildlife disease management within Australia and across the Indo-Pacific, and supported Wildlife Health Australia to establish the World Organisation for Animal Health Collaborating Centre for Wildlife Health Risk Management.
“The One Health Surveillance Initiative will make sure wildlife health is integrated into decision making across the region to benefit biosecurity, animal health, public health, food security and biodiversity.
“Wildlife Health Australia’s One Health Investigation Fund is also enabling more investigations of diseases in wildlife and the development of risk mitigation activities.
“One Health Day reminds us that managing major global health risks is not possible alone, and requires cooperation across the animal, plant, human and environmental health sectors.”