13 October 2022

Action for Animal Health reps featured during WHO pandemic treaty hearing

The Action for Animal Health coalition, of which Brooke is a member, recently made a fresh call to the World Health Organisation’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (WHO INB) to ensure that the latest draft of the pandemic treaty includes more provisions to prevent the spillover of infectious diseases from animals to people.

During a round of public hearings on 29-30 September, videos were shared from coalition representative Brooke and coalition partners Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network and the Coalition for Preventing Pandemics at Source.

On video, Brooke Pakistan’s Advocacy Manager Naeem Abbas said: “Zoonotic diseases that jump from animals to humans are a high burden for my country. They threaten the health of animals and people. Millions of people here live closely with animals and rely on livestock for their household income. The recent devastating floods have affected 33 million people and killed around one million livestock. At the same time, our animal health system is weak, which increases the risk of zoonotic diseases and the risk of spillover to humans.”

Covid-19, ebola, SARs and swine flu are all recent examples of zoonotic diseases with fatal consequences. As statistics show that up to 75% of new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals, it is clear that any attempt to prevent future pandemics must prioritise animal health systems.

A video from Action for Animal Health Senior Coordinator Ellie Parravani was also featured during the hearing. Within which, she said: “The coalition is pleased that One Health has had such a spotlight during the pandemic treaty negotiations so far but the reality is that animal health systems, a core component of One Health, are underfunded. At international level, we wish to see recognition of the importance of animal health systems to prevention, preparedness and response.”

The Action for Animal Health coalition was launched in 2021 to advocate for more investment in strong and resilient animal health systems that protect people, animals and the planet. Members include Brooke, Compassion in World Farming, ILRI and the World Veterinary Association.

Watch the public hearing videos here.