27 October 2021

Global organisations urge G20 leaders to end ‘historic underinvestment’ in animal health to prevent pandemics

Action for Animal Health, a coalition of organisations including The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Brooke and the World Veterinary Association, have published an open letter calling on G20 leaders to invest in animal health to prevent future pandemics.

Over 75% of new human infectious diseases emerge from animals, with zoonotic diseases affecting over two billion people. Over the last decade, zoonotic diseases have directly cost economies over $20 billion, with indirect losses of over $200 billion.

The letter states: “The G20 have recognised that we’re only as strong as our weakest health system. The only way to protect us from future pandemics is through a holistic approach called “One Health”, which focuses on the health of people, animals and the environment. But the transformative potential of One Health can only be realised if G20 leaders invest in weak animal health systems across the world.”

Action for Animal Health proposes that G20 leaders finance and build sustainable health systems for people, planet and animals through a range of methods, including improving access to safe medicines and vaccines for animals, and ensuring communities have access to skilled animal health services.

The G20 Summit takes place in Rome, Italy 30-31 October.

Action for Animal Health is a global coalition of multilateral and non-governmental organisations made up of The African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Brooke, Compassion in World Farming, Dogs Trust Worldwide, Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Send a Cow, Soi Dog Foundation, Supporting Evidence-Based Interventions (SEBI) – Livestock, Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (VSF) International, and World Veterinary Association.