Research on animal health

The animal health flagship combines advances in vaccinology and diagnostics with refined herd health management to improve productivity and mitigate disease risks. It:

  • Evaluates animal health constraints and threats: methods and tools to identify the extent and impact of animal health constraints and how these are changing
  • Refines and adapts holistic herd health management approaches: impact of biosecurity, animal welfare and rational use of drugs
  • Develops diagnostics and vaccines: new products for monitoring and control of livestock diseases in the targeted livestock production systems
  • Develops delivery models to improve access to animal health services and products: demand-driven and gender-responsive delivery models


5. What are the most promising gains that we can expect for smallholders from animal health research discovery and delivery? How do we best achieve these?

See comments below

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5 thoughts on “Research on animal health

  1. The promising gains are healthy animals with high productivity – large quantity and quality milk, meat and hides. This can be achieved by vaccinating the animals against certain diseases in the targeted areas, utilizing a gender- responsive delivery models and through bio-security impact and rational use of drugs.


  2. Indigenous knowledge systems. we must consult the elders of communities and use the feedback to produce cost effective solutions


  3. An overall goal of improving herd health through definitive diagnostics, effective vaccines and refined head health management is laudable. The question is how best can these be sustainably delivered to the small holder farmer so that all costs are offset by profits. Livestock vaccines can be compromised by regional pathogen strain diversity and proof of immunization and vaccine efficacy requires (preferably patient side) quantitative testing. Unless the tools to evaluate immunization and vaccine efficacy are in the hands of the small holder farmers the farmers will be dependent on vaccine delivery and testing programs that may be expensive, in some cases inadequately supervised, and possible compromised over the long term by short attention span. Improved breeding for disease resistance together with increased productivity should perhaps be considered as an adjunct or alternative approach, particularly in herds grazed on common ground under disease pressure, where emerging disease resistance could be perhaps accelerated by selected matings.


  4. Animal health maintenance is certainly one of the key aspects to food security. However, there should be better international research networks developed that share interest in diagnostic or vaccine development against certain infectious disease affecting livestock. The critical mass determines if measurable progress is made in this research and development agenda. If it is lacking, one might not be able to keep up with the demands of smallholder farmers and loose credibility at the end.


  5. Animal health is critical for poor livestockkeepers as they are under-served by public healthcare systems. Research priorities should include low cost disease-surveillance systems; timely and accurate diagnosis; effective and timely disease prevention and control programs; and adequate institutional, regulatory and policy support to implement prevention and control activities – in conjunction with national governments.


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