Smallholder Livestock Production and the Global Disease Risk
Livestock management and marketing practices everywhere influence human health risk through their impact on animal health in an increasingly globalized food supply chain. At the present time, smallholders are facing the prospect of significant adjustment costs because they have been implicated in adverse biosafety events. If this approach is seen as punitive, it will undermine effective reporting and control responses, needlessly enlarging outbreaks and extending genetic incubation time. Because of their ubiquity and numbers, smallholder livestock producers have an essential constructive role to play in global disease prevention. Limiting opportunities for the emergence of pandemic pathogens is something that benefits everyone, everywhere, even if it is happening at the most microeconomic level. Smallholders need positive incentives to contribute to the global commons of disease prevention. On the other hand, high income countries benefit most from this in economic terms. Recognizing these facts provides a strong collaborative basis for pro-poor multilateral initiative to reduce animal and pandemic disease risks.