One health, one welfare - Veterinary Practice
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One health, one welfare

Veterinary teams have a wide role within society that impacts not just animals, but also humans and the environment

Members of the profession work at many different
levels, in small animal, equine or farm animal
practice; animal welfare charities; farm animal inspection services; working animal care; food safety and
hygiene inspection services; animal disease surveillance
systems; animal nutrition; research and development of
pharmaceutical drugs; scientific research; government
policy and delivery and global policy-making; sport,
recreational and conservation work involving animals,
among others. All these roles have one common theme
– they all help support animals and humans (individuals,
local communities and global development). Through the
concepts of ‘One Health’ and ‘One Welfare’, we can increase
the efficiency of how this is done and better understand
the role and impact of the veterinary profession, working
alongside others, in a multi-disciplinary fashion.

‘One World, One Health’ was developed as a concept
to achieve fully-comprehensive approaches in support of
global sustainable development. The Manhattan principles
were agreed following an event in 2004 to help establish
a more holistic approach to preventing epidemic/epizootic
disease and for maintaining ecosystem integrity for the
bene t of humans, their domesticated animals, and the
foundational biodiversity that supports us all.

More recently, the concept of ‘One Welfare’ has emerged,
emphasising the connections between animal welfare,
human well-being, conservation and the environment.
Integrating ‘One Welfare’ with ‘One World, One Health’
helps strengthen and better integrate stakeholder liaison
by capturing all relevant issues involving animals and our
society in a holistic way.

Recognising the interconnections

It is important to recognise the interconnections between
animal welfare and other disciplines in support of global
sustainable development. The role of veterinary teams
in society by using a ‘One Health, One Welfare’ approach
is consistent with the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals in animal-related areas by helping to “build economic
growth and address
a range of social
needs including
education, health,
social protection, and
job opportunities,
while tackling
climate change and environmental
protection” (United
Nations, 2016).

By expanding One Health into One Welfare, veterinary
professionals can make more explicit the recognition
between the interconnections of animal welfare, human
well-being and the environment.

This represents a step forward in the implementation
of animal welfare standards and policies, with the aim of
integrating animal welfare with other relevant areas for the
benefit of all.

The One Welfare Framework has been developing over
the past two years and will be published in the first quarter
of 2018. The Framework includes five key sections, which
include, for example the interconnections between animal
abuse, human abuse and neglect; socio-economical aspects
that link with animal welfare; the connection between farm
animal welfare and farmer well-being; conservation and
sustainability or the interconnection of animal and human
welfare at the time of war or disasters.

The role of working animals supporting developing
communities, and how improvements in their welfare
supports local economies, individuals and families, is one
example highlighting the indirect impacts of veterinary
professionals in different societies.

Overall, the role and impact of the veterinary
profession at local, national and global level should not
be underestimated. We should all take part in reminding
everyone of both the direct and indirect impact that those
working in veterinary teams have in the wider society.

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