Challenges and opportunities in animal health
By: Anne Zinn
WCAP sessions continued on Saturday, July 7 in Vancouver, beginning with a morning session discussing challenges and opportunities in animal health. The presentation began with Dr. Andres Perez, DVM and Ph.D. Professor at the University of Minnesota. With the ever growing population, feeding the planet responsibly has become one of the most important challenges facing human kind; therefore, animal production is expected to grow and change as the population does. Dr. Perez discussed food safety and animal health within this scope, outlining the ultimate objective of improving access to food and development as a mean to improve health and welfare of local and global communities. Dr. Janice Ciacci-Zanella, Researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, continued the discussion with a presentation on emerging health issues in swine in Brazil. Dr. Ciacci-Zanella outlined the main factors for the emergence of swine diseases, how to address future threats, and why research and surveillance is crucial - it was suggested the a global network for monitoring, research and communication be put in place to foster partnerships in the areas of health, environment, and agriculture to better develop strategies and responses at the global level. Following Dr. Ciacci-Zanella, Hui Yang of Kyushu University, gave a brief overview of research completed examining the effect of pine bark extract on rectal temperature, plasma corticosterone, metabolites and heat shock proteins (HSPs) mRNA expression in heat-exposed chicks, and Gregorio Velasco Gil, Project Coordinator at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, discussed the contribution of pastoral systems to global food security, trends, and challenges facing the scientific community and population as a whole.
Food safety and animal health and production continue to be hot topics in the animal science community. Promising research continues to progress, but conversations of a more global scale need to continue as well. Abstracts of the above-mentioned presentations can be found here.