Terrestrial Animal Health Code

Contents | Index Chapter 5.13. SECTION 6. Chapter 6.2.

Chapter 6.1.

Introduction to recommendations for veterinary public health

Article 6.1.1.

Veterinary public health is a component of public health that focuses on the application of veterinary science and that includes all actions directly or indirectly linked with animals, their products and by-products, so long as they contribute to the protection and improvement of the physical, mental and social well-being of humans.

Veterinary science has a rich history of contributions to public health, especially with regard to the provision of safe and adequate food, the prevention, control and eradication of zoonoses, the improvement of animal welfare and contributing to biomedical research.

Veterinary Services play a key role in preventing, mitigating and controlling risks to public health at the origin or source of infection. In particular, Veterinary Services contribute to public health in several areas such as food security, food safety (with respect to foodborne diseases as well as residues and pollutants), control of zoonoses and responses to natural disasters and bioterrorism.

Furthermore, a number of anthropogenic factors influence the occurrence of emerging diseases, some of which are zoonotic. These factors include among others: population growth and changing food consumption patterns and their consequences such as increasing food demand and intensification of production systems; increased movements and trade of animals and their products and derived products; the use and misuse of antimicrobial agents generating resistance; the disruption of ecosystems; climate change.

In this context, Veterinary Services are integrated into the ’One Health’ approach to the assessment, prevention, management and communication of health risks and preservation of the integrity of ecosystems for the benefit of human health, the health of domestic animals and wildlife, and biodiversity.

Veterinary training and education should take into account the role of Veterinary Services in public health at national, regional and global level in the development of veterinary public health capabilities.

nb: first adopted in 2018.

2018 ©OIE - Terrestrial Animal Health Code

Contents | Index Chapter 5.13. Chapter 6.2.