Summary (continued)
A comprehensive approach for disease prevention, detection and response, however, requires a coordinated and joint effort among governments, communities, donors and international networks to invest effectively in prevention systems that can identify early signals of the emergence, spillover and spread of animal pathogens at the local level. These signals include trade bans, market closures, civil unrest, heavy rains and droughts associated with climate change, and livestock intensification or changes in consumer behaviour. The global community needs to increase its investment in early warning and detection systems that can provide information that enables action to be taken at the national, regional and global levels in the event of an outbreak of a transboundary animal disease (TAD). Like any preventive measure, an early warning system requires financial resources, but these are insignificant when compared to the losses that are avoided. Building a global early warning and effective response system for outbreaks is value for money, as the benefits far outweigh the costs. The goal of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to end hunger and poverty, which is a challenging and complex task. Building global capacity to prepare for and respond to TADs is an important element of the FAO’s strategic objective to increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises. Each year, livestock, and the people who rely upon them for their livelihoods, are confronted with animal disease and crises. They can strike suddenly, causing obvious illness and death, or emerge insidiously and become well established before becoming apparent. Animal disease emergencies threaten the production of, and access to, food; consequently, one of the FAO’s missions is to help countries to prepare for and respond to animal health disasters.