We partner with organizations and communities around the world to improve animal health and production as a locally sustainable path to resolving issues connecting poverty, public health, food insecurity, and biodiversity conservation. Using an integrative approach, we bring a veterinary lens to global development challenges that have reciprocal impacts on animals, humans, and ecosystems. We ensure that our interventions are ecologically balanced and sustainable by combining the expertise of a multidisciplinary team with local ingenuity. Working with the community and our in-country partners, we provide an adaptable framework to enhance animal health capacity (domestic animals and wildlife), with a focus on training, education, and outreach.
Why Focus On Animal Health?
Conversations about animals and veterinary care often generate heartwarming anecdotes about the family dog or cat, but the reality around most of the globe is that animals are integral to household income, food security, and health. In much of the developing world, smallholder farmers keep livestock such as poultry, goats, sheep, and cattle to provide an income buffer as well as source of reliable food. Unlike starch staples, animal source foods provide essential micronutrients critical to child development and maternal health. Additionally, where livestock ownership is out of reach or animal production is inadequate, rural communities often rely on wildlife or plant provisions from their natural surroundings to meet their nutritional and subsistence needs. Unfortunately, the rate of harvest and hunting of local biota is often unsustainable due to ancillary stressors placed on wildlife and natural resources such as habitat loss, climate change, and subsequent alterations in ecosystem balance.
As landscapes and climate conditions have shifted in the face of large-scale agriculture and urbanization, the relationship between humans, animals, and natural resources is growing increasingly more complex and interlinked. Amid these changes, new health challenges have surfaced in animals and people that require a more integrated approach and demand multilateral interventions. Particularly in developing countries, chronic and emergent health problems in people and animals frequently stem from a variety of causes including ineffective or non-existant health delivery systems, broad social inequities, biodiversity loss, climate change, and resource degradation. As veterinarians, we are increasingly called upon to work with teams of interdisciplinary experts and stakeholders of diverse backgrounds to determine the underlying sociologic and eco-epidemiologic drivers of these emerging health trends, with careful attention given to areas where humans and animals live in close proximity.
Ecovet Global’s approach is unique and comprehensive. In every project we take on, we leverage opportunities to develop integrated solutions with our human health, eco-agriculture, and social science counterparts. Applying a One Health approach, our team covers a range of issues in the global health and conservation sectors including 1) surveillance, prevention, and control of diseases that can be transferred between animals and humans, 2) improvement of animal health delivery by engaging stakeholders at all infrastructure levels and promoting development of community animal health care training programs, 3) disease prevention and enhancement of livestock production through sustainble practices in order to improve food security, reduce environmental impact, and elevate animal welfare, 4) strategy development for research outcomes linking social behavior and environmental change with diseases that threaten biodiversity, and 5) mitigation of human – wildlife conflict in situations where veterinary solutions can be effectively applied to resolve the problem.