Ateeq Iqbal1 , Hamza Jawad2

1,2 Students of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur

1Secretary Event Management, IVSA Pakistan, Bahawalpur

2President, IVSA Pakistan, Bahawalpur


The relationship of human health with animals, and the environment has never been more important than now. Years ago, incidents of cruelty and violence against animals attracted very little media attention and weren’t a massive a part of our culture. No one interested in the welfare of animals or in public health but in recent years, serious cruelty to animal and public health receive attention inside the developed countries conjointly as in third world countries. Most of the students have started discussions about one health concept because one health covers medical, veterinary along with environmental and biomedical engineering sectors. The most emerging problem having pressure on public health today is the prevailing of zoonotic diseases.COVID-19 is the hottest topic of discussion now. Medical facet, veterinarians and environmental researchers noted effects of animal diseases and environmental changes on public health. Over some years, new zoonotic diseases emerged in different areas. Zoonosis is the main hazard which is continued to prevail in developing countries causing losses of economy in the agriculture sector as well as in veterinary side. It affects public health which is a major issue to discuss. So, different programs to eliminate zoonotic diseases from reservoirs are required on urgent basis.

Keywords: Relationship among Human, Animal and environment, Zoonosis, COVID-19,  

One Health Concept

Adopting the concept of One Health and One Welfare could help to improve animal welfare and human wellbeing worldwide [1]. The need for multidisciplinary research to address today’s complex health and environmental challenges has never been greater. The One Health (OH) approach to research ensures that human, animal, and environmental health questions are evaluated in an integrated and holistic manner to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the problem and potential solutions than would be possible with siloed approaches[2]. One Health is a wide interdependence field where different disciplines can collaborate to achieve the best health for humans, animals, plants and environment. One Health Concept can be explained on three different levels[3].

  • At Individual Level: Animal health and Human health
  • At Population Level: Population health and Public health
  • At Ecosystem Level: Ecosystem health

Why one health concept is important?

By highlighting One Health importance in all linked fields (Medical, Veterinary Medicine, Environment Sciences and Biomedical Engineering etc.) we can prepare future leaders will work on One Health much better. Therefore, these days societies and institutes are celebrating 3rd November as One Health Day to create maximum awareness all over the world. It is the only way for limiting zoonotic diseases and other public health issues.

In last 3 decades, the prevalence of infectious diseases has been increased and 75% out of these are of animal origin. The increasing rate of these zoonotic diseases shows that connecting human, animal and environmental sector by the One Health concept is becoming even more critical now. Veterinarians could play a role as a bridge with their research, experience and understanding in One Health. They can help in diagnosing, treating and managing zoonotic diseases in large population of animals [4].

Veterinarians could be, and mostly are, the 1st line of defense against zoonotic diseases. Veterinary experts are in connection with a vast variety of domestic and wild animals. They can effectively and efficiently use their diagnostic process to control zoonosis. They can improve local and global regulatory system for animal health, food safety, and public health. One Health concept represents a prominent and unique opportunity for veterinarians to collaborate with medical sector and environmental side for improvement of public health [5]

Crucial issues those need veterinary attention:

  1. International trade among different continents on global level is one of the major cause of spreading zoonotic diseases in unaffected areas, for example dengue virus in Pakistan imported from Sri Lanka. Inspection of cargo must be strict regarding biosecurity level [4].
  2. Changing climate globally may increase the geographical region of zoonotic diseases. Vector borne zoonotic disease like dengue or yellow fever might spread more rapidly during hot and humid season. Warm temperatures have played a part in the foundation of the tropical diseases like malaria in the more temperate area of the world during 1980s. So, environmental health must be insured for the improvement of public health [4].
  3. Cutting of forest may increase the chances of immigration of wildlife reservoirs of zoonotic
  4. diseases into the nearest human areas. So chance of zoonosis will increase rapidly. In South-East Asia during 1990s, the sudden increase in Nipah virus in the swine and human beings was resulted by the rapid deforestation for land and timber. So reforestation must increase instead of deforestation. Pakistan is the best example where 10 billions trees will be planted till 2030 [5].
  5. Tourism to the exotic or wildlife areas is also an emerging cause of zoonosis. A study based on data from the Health Ministry of Uganda showed that diseases like malaria and tuberculosis might be transmitted from human visitors to gorillas. Veterinarian and medical health has been planning to maintain the animal health affected by ecotourism [5].
  6. Many food born diseases are caused by infectious zoonotic agents which also threaten safety of food chain and the prevention of such diseases need the collaboration of different public health workers [5].

Major One Health Initiatives Include

  • Zoonotic global challenge must be managed by collaboration among multiple professions.  
  • Veterinary curriculum must be expand to emphasize One Health issues
  • Veterinarians should pursue advanced scientific research in veterinary medicine as well as in public health.[3,5]

Role of veterinary students

The important way to eliminate zoonosis is to promote One Health concept in the local as well as in global community. As veterinary students, we must play a leading role in different collaborating sector. This may be just small but an important step in the globe and we must take this tiny step for the welfare of mankind. Constant efforts required to remove zoonosis permanently.

Veterinarian must also focus on animal welfare because Zoonosis is linked with animals. Therefore, animal welfare should be the primary mandate of our community and veterinarians in general on an individual aspect [1,3]

Animal welfare

Animal welfare is the well-being of non human animals. Welfare means mental well-being, physical well-being and prepared to precise natural behavior. Throughout the earth, animal welfare is that the subject of legislation of wellness, retailer standards, and codes of practice. 1st animal welfare organization was based by Richard Martin in 1824 in England. Animal welfare science uses measures like longevity, diseases, immunosuppression, behavior, physiology and reproduction. Respect of animal welfare is typically supported the idea that nonhuman animals are sentient which consideration should tend to their well-being or suffering especially once they’re under the care of humans. These concerns can include how animals are slaughtered for food, how they’re utilized in scientific research, how they’re kept in farm or zoo and therefore the way human activities affect the welfare and survival of untamed species [6].


Raising animals humanely can use less feed and water, less medication than intensive farming. Humane farms can create jobs, boost profit, keeps local food supplies healthy. Humane farms are better for the animals, humans and thus the environment [6,7].

Different animal welfare issues

Animal cruelty/abuses like dragging downed crippled cattle, rough handling, throwing baby dairy calves, beating an animal, starving of animal, failing to provide shelter, or shackling and hoisting an animal before ritual slaughter. Labs test on animals, sport, hunting, overpopulation in companion animals, poaching and whaling are some important issues regarding animal welfare. Many studies on poultry and dairy cattle have shown that rough handling of farm animals by people can reduce the animal productivity and welfare [7].


They should have an appropriate environment to exhibit normal behaviors with suitable diet. They have to be shielded from pain and diseases etc. and treat them if they become ill. To be housed with companion animals [8].

Facing problems

 There is scarcity of public awareness and many are neglecting animal health importance. Animal welfare agencies/societies report that animal neglect cases are the foremost common calls to which they respond [9].

Veterinarian’s roles

  • Dealing with animals, veterinarians ought to adhere to the principals of care and compassion which can be expressed by providing acceptable veterinary treatment and malady interference and applying effective management protocols and techniques to create certain routine veterinary activities [6,8].
  • Veterinarians shall become sufficiently prestigious and act as a result of the society animal welfare main supply to supply science-based experience and educate the wide public on basic farming[7,8].
  • Veterinarian may perform for the welfare of animals through analysis as they have the scientific and conjointly as medical coaching to work in analysis areas in veterinary field. Veterinarians ought to assure that the Animal Welfare Acts and programs square measure helpful and actually serve social group want conjointly as a result of the requirements of the animals [9,10].


An animal is in good state of welfare if it’s healthy, comfortable, safe, well-nourished, able to express innate behavior. If animal is healthy and free from diseases then there will be less chances of spreading zoonotic diseases. So to affect the animal welfare requires an “exceptional level of cooperation, among all private sectors and individual level. In summary, the veterinary profession must use its skills and experience to help animal owners, and local community to produce the only practices and education concerning one health concept. This profession has nice potential, chance and responsibility to move throughout a large choice of employment fields that deliver animal welfare services to the advantage of public health [11].


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  2. Lebov, J., Grieger, K., Womack, D., Zaccaro, D., Whitehead, N., Kowalcyk, B., & MacDonald, P. D. (2017). A framework for One Health research. One Health, 3, 44-50.
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  4. Mackenzie, J. S., Jeggo, M., Daszak, P., & Richt, J. A. (Eds.). (2013). One Health: the human-animal-environment interfaces in emerging infectious diseases (Vol. 366). Berlin: Springer.
  5. Greger, M. (2007). The human/animal interface: emergence and resurgence of zoonotic infectious diseases. Critical reviews in microbiology33(4), 243-299.
  6. Dawkins, M. S. (2012). Why animals matter: animal consciousness, animal welfare, and human well-being. Oxford University Press.
  7. Boris, L. M. (2011). The food-borne ultimatum: Proposing federal legislation to create humane living conditions for animals raised for food in order to improve human health. JL & Health24, 285.
  8. Care, A., & Use Committee. (1998). Guidelines for the capture, handling, and care of mammals as approved by the American Society of Mammalogists. Journal of Mammalogy, 1416-1431.
  9. Wathes, C. M. (1994). Animals in Mans Environment: A Question of Interest. Outlook on agriculture23(1), 47-54.
  10. Madzingira, O. (2018). Animal Welfare Considerations in Food-Producing Animals. Animal Welfare, 99.
  11. Fumagalli, C. (2020). A Global Institution on Animal Protection. In dA Derecho Animal: Forum of Animal Law Studies (Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 0060-106).