Participants at a conference on ‘Leveraging Agriculture for Human Nutrition and Health’, which has just ended in New Delhi, heard that livestock intensification in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, may increase the incidence of epidemics that kill both humans and animals.
‘”The increase in density leads to increased contact between humans and animals—leading to transmission of pathogens,” John McDermott, deputy director general for research at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), told SciDev.Net.
‘Over 60 per cent of human pathogens, and three-quarters of new human pathogens, are transmitted by animals, said McDermott and his co-author, Delia Grace, a veterinary and food safety researcher at the institute.
‘”Livestock,” said McDermott, “is one of the biggest tools for poverty reduction but while the developed world has the capacity to deal with disease related to livestock-rearing, the cost makes this impossible for poor countries.” . . .
‘Agricultural intensification in the…
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