The global COVID-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the importance of recognising and managing emerging zoonotic disease risks which can originate from wildlife.
WHA recognises that the health of Australia’s wildlife, animals in agriculture, domestic animals and human population are all fundamentally linked. Many diseases that can affect humans and livestock often emerge in wildlife, and they are increasing. Effective surveillance of wildlife health is therefore vital to human health, agriculture, the environment and biodiversity in Australia.
Adopting a ‘true One Health’ approach recognises the interdependencies of human, animal, and environmental health, and is essential to preventing future pandemics:
There are an estimated 1.7 million undiscovered viruses in mammal and bird hosts.
Many exist in wildlife and feral animal species and are evolving into different variants which pose an unknown level of risk to humans, animals, and our ecosystems.
Wildlife has always been important, perhaps more so now than ever.
A healthy environment is the foundation for the health of all living things.