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Product title :

Climate change and animal health in Africa

Author(s) : P. Van den Bossche & J.A.W. Coetzer

Summary :

Climate change is expected to have direct and indirect impacts on African livestock. Direct impacts include increased ambient temperature, floods and droughts. Indirect impacts are the result of reduced availability of water and forage and changes in the environment that promote the spread of contagious diseases through increased contact between animals, or increased survival or availability of the agent or its intermediate host. The distribution and prevalence of vector-borne diseases may be the most significant effect of climate change. The potential vulnerability of the livestock industry will depend on its ability to adapt to such changes. Enhancing this adaptive capacity presents a practical way of coping with climate change. Adaptive capacity could be increased by enabling the African livestock owner to cope better with animal health problems through appropriate policy measures and institutional support. Developing an effective and sustainable animal health service, associated surveillance and emergency preparedness systems and sustainable disease control and prevention programmes is perhaps the most important strategy for dealing with climate change in many African countries.

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