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Where to next with animal health in Latin America? The transition from endemic to disease-free status

Author(s) : H. Rojas & J.R. Romero

Summary :

The Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) is a leading global producer and exporter of animal products. Its livestock production systems are diverse, ranging from large-scale commercial enterprises to family farms. Countries in this region have sought to improve their animal health status through both public and private efforts. Despite significant advances in eradicating such diseases as foot and mouth disease and classical swine fever, other animal health challenges remain; constraining exports, causing negative economic impacts and threatening food security. Obtaining certification of disease-free status is only the first step towards gaining benefits from improvements in animal health. Increasing international trade means that countries must manage the sustainability of their disease-free status in conjunction with trade partners and must comply with additional food safety and animal welfare standards. This paper comments on the challenges created by this new scenario in relation to the epidemiology and economics of animal health, when seeking to improve decision-making for animal health management.

Animal health – Caribbean – Decision-making – Economics – Epidemiology – Foot and mouth disease – Latin America – Public sector – Veterinary Services.

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