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India Urgently Needs More Vets To Protect Public Health, Say Experts

12 years ago

15th February, 2012 12h53

The number of veterinary professionals in India needs to double by 2017 in order to safeguard public health throughout South East Asia, says the Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), Dr Ayyappan, in a report published today. The report, Strengthening the Veterinary Profession in India to Improve Food Security, is the outcome of a recent expert consultation held in New Delhi, by ICAR, the science and agriculture organization CABI, the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Veterinary College London/Wikivet, and supported by Pfizer Animal Health. It warns that without sufficient numbers of veterinarians, there is a serious threat of outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Major investment is needed to fund the necessary expansion of the veterinary profession in India. As well as increasing the numbers of veterinarians, the report focuses on the need to raise the standards of practice, and public private partnerships, such as those between academia and pharmaceutical corporations, provide an opportunity to do this. Dr Pradhan of the World Health Organisation (WHO), who also participated in the consultation, said that the absence of veterinary epidemiologists in India was “extremely worrying” and “must be rectified” to prevent potential epidemics such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Avian Influenza. The full report can be accessed here

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