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Statement on report into the UK government’s insufficient prioritisation of the threat of animal disease

We are concerned by the UK Public Accounts Committee’s findings that a lack of investment in facilities means the UK government is not sufficiently equipped to prioritise the threat posed by the spread of animal and zoonotic diseases. 

Animal diseases leave us all at risk. Diseases like avian influenza, COVID-19 and African swine fever know no boundaries. Without global investment, our ability to competently prevent and respond to outbreaks is compromised. Governments must invest in preventing animal and zoonotic diseases to protect global health, as well as livelihoods, food safety and security, and the welfare of animals themselves.

Animal health underpins some of the greatest health threats we face as a society today. Yet globally the animal health sector continues to suffer from chronic underfunding. It is vital that the UK is an example to the rest of the world in giving animal health the attention and investment it is due.