What is One Health?
‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing policy in which multiple sectors work together to achieve better public health outcomes by recognising that the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment are inextricably linked.
The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever), and combatting antibiotic resistance (when bacteria change after being exposed to antibiotics and become more difficult to treat).
The role of vets in the One Health Agenda
The veterinary profession has a long history of recognising and encouraging the concept of One Health. This is because animals both impact and are impacted by people and the environment. As clinical practitioners, epidemiologists, or ecological experts, veterinarians are essential to advancing One Health Agenda in a number of areas, such as:
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- Non-communicable diseases
- Infection control
- Environment and climate change
The BVA’s One Health in Action Report provides case studies to demonstrate the importance of vets to preserving public health.