Effects of climate change on animal health and welfare in the UKDr Helen Roberts(Global Animal Health, Defra – UK)
Defra response to Climate Change • To ensure a focus is maintained on the relationship between health and welfare and environmental drivers, including the likely future impact of climate change on disease prevalence and epidemiology. • To ensure a coherent science base, including horizon scanning, and facilitating knowledge exchange and action planning between and by stakeholders. • To share knowledge, develop effective contingency plans and help stakeholders address these issues themselves.
Adaption response for AHW • OIE General Session • EU White Paper • UK response and contingency planning has been a front-runner • Adaptation and Mitigation have both been targeted for response on behalf of the UK Chief Veterinary Officer
OIE • To be a focal point for exchange of information • To assist Vet Authorities to develop foresight and decision making frameworks • “One World One Health” • To encourage OIE ref labs to investigate relationship between climate, environment and disease
CVO’s Statement on ACC Issue • Important implications for agriculture, livestock management , animal and public health. • Climate and resulting habitat and ecosystem changes will change the way we keep livestock, how we source feed and how we interact with wildlife. • Our demand for food will increase, and there will be new opportunities for farmers, and not just threats. • Physical changes to habitats and new farming methods may lead to a change in the type or number of animal diseases we encounter. • Some diseases may be of very low prevalence, whereas others may become more significant. • While each disease is different, we have used our procedures and practices for responding to disease threats in many real life situations before. • We continuously review contingency plans to make sure they remain as effective as possible. • We try to anticipate likely changes in disease threats so we can manage such risks proactively whilst encouraging livestock keepers to adapt and allow agriculture and food production to thrive. • Defra continues to conduct continuous horizon scanning to assess disease threats.
CVO’s Statement on ACC What we are Doing • Links with sustainable agriculture colleagues to prepare for a multi-disciplinary approach to using the UKCIP scenarios. • To identify and prioritise evidence base needs, to build on research already done. • To use the scenarios to augment our evidence in a targeted and intelligent way. • To consider the case for redirecting some of our existing (and finite) research budget into this area. • Disease profiles and a decision support tool to objectively rank disease risks have been developed to underpin risk assessments and decision making on prioritising resources against different threats. • A horizon scanning team continually assesses disease threats to UK and publishes qualitative risk assessments on the Defra Website • Disease profiles will be updated continually as science and on-the-ground realities change. There will also be a section specifically relating to climate change (ie how easy to mitigate and how important a role in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change).
Our adaptation response • Exotic notifiable diseases of animals • Endemic “production” diseases • UK and also EU level • UKCIP projections (medium emissions) • Direct and indirect effects of CC on disease incidence • Input into OIE and DfID
Risk Framework • Routes of introduction and spread • Pathogen biology • Disease reservoirs • Vector biology • Contact and movement of animals, including trade • Environmental routes
Expert Opinion workshop • Identify Climate Change parameters to apportion boundaries to the assessment. • Consider what effect could these climate scenarios have on diseases. • Determine the risk by multiplying likelihood of impact by magnitude of consequence and plot on a graph. • Identify what characteristics of a disease could make it important to the UK. • Generate a ranking which can be used to help prioritise disease prevention efforts. • Apportion high impact, high priority factors to different diseases based on rank. • Identify unknowns. • Plan of action.
General results • Increases in vector borne diseases (variable) as direct effect on vector distribution • Possible increases in production diseases due to indirect changes in livestock husbandry etc • Flood risk as well as heat stress may have immediate impact • Some fish diseases may be affected, as water quality may change • Possible change in migration of wild birds • Population movement and changing trade patterns
Final plan of action • Bearing in mind the White Paper guidance for actions for Member States: • Develop guidelines and surveillance mechanisms on the health impacts of climate change by 2011. • Step up research in animal disease surveillance and control.