Zoonoses are diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans either directly, through food or contact with vectors such as mosquitoes, sandflies, or ticks, or through the environment. This is an increasingly recurring global public health problem. Overpopulation, increased mobility, ecosystem degradation and species trade are some of the reasons for the increase.

Approximately 200 zoonotic diseases have been described. Throughout history, some of the known zoonoses are rabies, black death, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), influenza A or avian influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and monkeypox virus.

Considering that 60% of pathogens that cause human disease come from domestic or wild animals, that 75% of emerging human pathogens are of animal origin, and that 80% of pathogens at risk of use in bioterrorism are of animal origin, the global commitment to the present and future health of humans, animals and the environment is based on a One Health vision or concept. Human health is directly linked to the health of animals and the environment in which we live, so by caring for the health of animals and the environment, we protect our own health.

The One Health movement is a global strategy that aims to increase interdisciplinary collaboration in the health care of people, animals and the environment, and to develop and implement programs, policies and laws to improve public health. Only by working together, human and veterinary health professionals can safeguard public health.

Keys to a One Health vision:

  • True recognition of health professionals.
  • Recognition of veterinarians as health professionals.
  • Creation of multidisciplinary teams of clinical professionals specializing in the health of livestock, wildlife, and humans.
  • Protect animal health as a primary asset.
  • Create stronger environmental protection policies with increased penalties for crimes that cause serious damage to ecosystems.
  • Promote research into alternative methods of animal experimentation.
  • Promote empathy for animals and the planet.