VETERINARY MEDICINE : a medical specialty consisting of the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of animals other than humans. See also diseases of Mammalia, infectious disease vectors and reservoirs and physiology of metazoa.
For each species, classified according to current taxonomy, the main infectious and toxic diseases are listed below. A distinction is made between infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans and diseases which cannot. Eumetazoa; Bilateria; Coelomata;
  • Protostomia
  • Deuterostomia; Chordata; Craniata; Vertebrata
  • chapter 1.1.1. "General definitions", of OIE's Terrestrial Anima Health Code, 11th edition, 2003: The global trade in wildlife provides disease transmission mechanisms that not only cause human disease outbreaks but also threaten livestock, international trade, rural livelihoods, native wildlife populations, and the health of ecosystems. Outbreaks resulting from wildlife trade have caused hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage globally. Rather than attempting to eradicate pathogens or the wild species that may harbor them, a practical approach would include decreasing the contact rate among species, including humans, at the interface created by the wildlife trade. Since wildlife marketing functions as a system of scale-free networks
    with major hubs, these points provide control opportunities to maximize the effects of regulatory effortsref

    Transboundary animal diseases

    Smuggling of meat, animal products and even animals themselves has always been and continues to be an important issue. In the USA, Exotic Newcastle Disease was brought into California in 1971 by the unrestricted movement of pet birds into the country causing a major outbreak resulting in multimillions dollar loss.  Even when restrictions were subsequently introduced, outbreaks due to smuggled pet birds continued to occur periodically. African Swine Fever in Belgium in 1985  was associated with someone illegally bringing infected meat from Spain and feeding it to a boar. Smuggling of meat into the United Kingdom was often touted as the cause of the devastating FMD outbreak in 2001. Finally, in the 2005 Taiwan incident H5N1 virus was actually identified in smuggled meat.

    Baboons, duiker antelopes and cane rats are available by the pound in markets in major cities in North America and Europe. While the meat showing up in cities from New York to London represent just a sliver of the illegal bushmeat trade, it highlights the strong demand that still exists for illegally hunted meat. Bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) can be problematic when the animals killed are endangered or carrying disease. Most concern about bushmeat centres on western and central Africa, where great apes are among the animals eaten, and where it represents a serious threat to many animal populations. Justin Brashares, a conservation ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has worked in bushmeat research for nearly a decade. When he was in New York two years ago, sitting in the back of a cab driven by a Ghanaian, they got talking about the wild meats of Ghana. "You must miss it," Brashares remembers saying. "Well, I don't really miss it," the cab driver replied, "because I can get it." Thus began a research project in which African expatriate volunteers were recruited to cruise a local bushmeat market in New York, London, Brussels, Paris, Toronto, Montreal and Chicago, reporting back the kinds, conditions and quantities of African wild meat on offer. The results of the first 20 months of the survey, reported at the Society for Conservation Biology meeting on Wednesday 28 June, show that about 6,000 kilograms of illegally hunted meat moved through the seven markets surveyed, in total, each month. That's just a smidgen, Brashares says, of what must be flowing out of Africa into Europe and North America. And intercontinental trade, he adds, is again a tiny fraction (he estimates < 1%) of total bushmeat kill, most of which stays in the country of origin. Most of the meat in the survey was found to be butchered and smoked, but about 27% was raw, and 21% was not butchered at all. You have animals basically coming over in plastic bags. This raw meat could be a disease risk. Some disease agents could make the trip and some couldn't. Anthrax, for example, is something that could make the trip. It just depends how fresh it is. Brashares doesn't know most of his volunteers, nor does he know the exact location of the markets they are surreptitiously surveying. In order to ensure that the information is valid, Brashares asks two wholly independent scouts to survey each location. The bushmeat is more expensive than beef, so the buyers are presumably stocking up because they want the meat for ceremonial or special occasions. "I am not one to say 'I don't care what your tradition is'. A small, legalized trade, combined with a crackdown on large-scale illegal hunting, could one day help to fulfil cultural demand for the meat in a controlled fashion. Until then, homesick ex-pats will probably continue to turn to these underground markets. They want to bring home the food their families miss

    An imported disease, like the current polio imports, refers to sporadic cases or outbreaks in countries that do not necessarily share common borders.  A transboundary disease is one that spreads from one country to another across a common border, such as Rinderpest and other epidemic animal diseases (contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), FMD, contagious caprine pleuropneumonia, peste de petit ruminants, Rift Valley fever, and lumpy skin disease). While infectious diseases such as FMD and CBPP will readily spread via transboundary movements of livestock, this is not the case regarding anthrax, which is related to soil contamination. FAO has established the Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) for Transboundary Animal & Plant Pests & Diseases, to combat those.

    Research into physiology and embryology has provided a basis for the development of technologies that increase productivity of farm animals through enhanced control of reproductive function. Progestagens, alone or in combination with luteolysins, are used to control the time of oestrus in cattle, sheep and pigs, thus permitting better use of artificial insemination, providing synchronised recipients for embryos and facilitating management strategies. Treatment with progestagens and pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) or with gonadotrophin releasing hormone induces breeding activity in sheep and goats before the commencement of the breeding season and reduces the duration of postpartum anoestrus in cattle. In pigs, gonadotrophins are used to hasten puberty in gilts, control the time of oestrus in sows and gilts and reduce the interval between farrowing and oestrus. Implants of melatonin hasten the onset of the breeding season in sheep and goats. Success in increasing litter size in sheep and cattle with PMSG has been limited because of the large variation in response between animals. Likewise, immunisation against steroids has not given consistent results. Immunisation against inhibin appears to offer the possibility of increasing farm animal fecundity. Induction of twinning in cattle by embryo transfer is practicable, and recent developments suggest that in vitro fertilisation may provide a source of embryos for this purpose. Real-time ultrasonic scanning has proved to be a reliable method for diagnosing pregnancy in small ruminants and pigs. The identification of pregnancy-specific proteins in cattle and sheep may provide a cheap and practical serological test for pregnancy in these species. Partial segregation of spermatozoa into X- and Y-bearing components has been reported, but the method is not yet practicable for use in conventional artificial insemination of farm animals. The sex of bovine and ovine embryos can be determined reliably by DNA probes specific for the Y chromosome. Monozygous twins can be produced in all farm animal species by microsurgical bisection of embryos and techniques for cloning from embryonic cells are rapidly being developed. There is a need to devise strategies to utilise these clones to best advantage in genetic programmes. Chimeric animals can be produced in the common farm animal species and will play an important role in genetic engineering, particularly when embryonic stem cell lines are produced in these speciesref.

    Temperature sensing radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips for detecting fever in livestock (source : Digital Angel Corp. in Minnesota).

    Farm animal doping :

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