Farm Animals New Diseases - A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fuelling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report released on Friday.
Epidemics in recent years, such as SARS and the H1N1 swine flu, are estimated to have caused billions of dollars in economic costs.
Some 700 million people keep farm animals in developing countries and these animals generate up to 40 percent of household income, the report by the International Livestock Research Institute said.
"Wealthy countries are effectively dealing with livestock diseases, but in Africa and Asia, the capacity of veterinary services to track and control outbreaks is lagging dangerously behind livestock intensification," John McDermott and Delia Grace at the Nairobi-based institute said in a statement on the report.
"This lack of capacity is particularly dangerous because many poor people in the world still rely on farm animals to feed their families, while rising demand for meat, milk and eggs among urban consumers in the developing world is fueling a rapid intensification of livestock production."
Farm Animals New Diseases