Economic Development

Livestock are the cornerstone of communities and economies worldwide.

These animals provide essential nutrition for children, supporting their physical and mental development and life chances, and livestock can be a crucial investment. For smallholder farmers in developing regions, a single animal can provide food for their family, manure for their crops and labor to help till the field.

The UNFAO described the loss of livestock as “not only…a loss of income for families, but also family savings and investment over many years. Livestock represents a safety net for many families and the loss of such productive assets will impact significantly on lives and livelihoods.”

Veterinarians, with the help of medicines, can reduce this risk. Innovations like heat-stable vaccinations allow animal health professionals to protect livestock in the most remote regions. Antibiotics can end a raging disease outbreak before a herd is lost. Parasiticides can limit disease spread between animals.

Livestock is a driver of agriculture, and agriculture is the driver of economies worldwide. Protecting the health of animals improves the future of nations.

Quick facts

livestock disease reduces global production by 80 billion kilos of meat and 179.5 billion kilos of dairy each year, reducing producer revenue by $358.4 billion.

In 2018, Global egg production was likely reduced by 3 million tonnes by disease, equivalent to a US$5.6 billion loss or nearly four times the £1.2 billion UK egg market

Every one percentage point reduction in beef and dairy cattle disease rates would increase producer revenue by US$3.2 billion and US$3.8 billion, respectively

The Australian Government estimates that an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease would cost farmers AUD$80 billion in direct costs over 10 years.

The FAO calls livestock ‘the world’s third most important source of income” and ‘an asset for economic resilience’.

Just one livestock disease, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), causes up to $21 billion in global economic losses every year.

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