Animal Health Week (AHW) is an annual national public awareness campaign organized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and hosted by veterinarians across Canada. Each year, through AHW, the veterinary community draws attention to an important health-related message.
From October 2–8, 2022, the CVMA will celebrate our annual Animal Health Week by raising awareness about Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention – showcasing how animals, habitats, and human health are interdependent in creating healthy ecosystems which helps protect biosecurity. This year’s theme displays how Canada’s veterinary professionals occupy unique positions within the national One Health community in protecting animal health which, in turn, protects everyone’s health.
The 2022 Animal Health Week campaign key messages are intended to educate the public about the importance of habitat protection:
- Protecting the habitats of animals helps protect shared ecosystems and, in turn, helps safeguard human health.
- Respecting animals in their natural environments helps deter the spread of disease to other animal species and humans.
- Importation of exotic animals, and even improper movement of domestic animals, can introduce disease to local animals and people.
- Encroaching upon wildlife habitats or entering commercial/farmed operations without following proper protocols can result in biosecurity breaches which can lead to dangerous outcomes for animals and people.
- Protecting the environments of wildlife and all animals in your care is paramount in pandemic prevention.
- Monitoring disease in wildlife, such as migrating birds, bats, and feral animals like pigs and dogs, can play an important role in future pandemic prevention.
Veterinarians have crucial and critical Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention roles in food safety, environmental protection, and public health. This includes safeguarding the production of food from animal origin, ensuring it is safe, clean, and nutritious, while protecting the health and welfare of animals on farms Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention: The importation of exotic animals, and even improper movement of domestic animals, can introduce disease to local animals and people. Animals, people, and the environment; keeping one healthy requires that all be healthy.
Veterinarians are involved in Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention by monitoring disease in wildlife, such as migrating birds, bats, and feral animals like pigs and dogs. This can play an important role in future pandemic prevention. Canada’s veterinary professionals occupy unique, crucial and critical positions within the national One Health community and can help educate clients about how protecting animals’ health and habitats, protects everyone’s health. You and your veterinarian must manage your animals health responsibly and regularly. Habitat Protection and Pandemic Prevention starts with you!
Continuous human invasion into what were once remote regions exposes us to previously isolated viruses, parasites, and bacteria. The most recent global public health and economic devastation, COVID-19, greatly exemplifies the need to minimize the risk or another zoonotic pandemic.