Preventing Zoonotic Emerging Disease Outbreaks: The Need to Complement One Health with Ethical Considerations

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
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  • 1 Department of Philosophy, University of Basel, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
  • 2 Veterinary Public Health Institute, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3097 Liebefeld, Switzerland

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Abstract

Human encroachment on the habitats of wild animals and the dense living conditions of farmed animals increase spill-over risk of emerging infectious diseases from animals to humans (such as COVID-19). In this article, we defend two claims: First, we argue that in order to limit the risk of emerging infectious disease outbreaks in the future, a One Health approach is needed, which focuses on human, animal, and environmental health. Second, we claim that One Health should not solely be grounded in collaborations between veterinary, medical, and environmental scientists, but should also involve more dialogue with animal and environmental ethicists. Such an interdisciplinary approach would result in epidemiology-driven measures that are ethically legitimate.

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