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Zoonoses: Understanding the Animal Agriculture and Human Health Connection

The connections between zoonotic diseases, animal agriculture and human health was the focus of an international, multi-disciplinary symposium, organized by Farm Foundation, NFP.  The symposium was Sept. 23-24, 2010, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, D.C. Zoonoses are transmissible diseases shared by humans and animals.


The symposium was targeted to the broad cross-section of professionals involved in the prevention and management of zoonotic diseases—public health officials, epidemiologists, virologists, veterinarians, agriculture producer groups and media representatives, particularly those responsible for health, science and agricultural coverage. 


The recent H1N1 outbreak is one in a long series of disease outbreaks that has raised questions about the relationship between the diseases, agricultural production systems and human health,” says Farm Foundation, NFP Vice President Sheldon Jones.  “An understanding of the risks and interactions is critical to health professionals working with humans and animals, policy makers and regulators.  This symposium was designed to help build a systematic knowledge of those relationships.”

Conference presentations are presented here:

Thursday, September 23
Opening Keynote Address
Chair: Dr. Juergen Voegele, The World Bank

Zoonoses Coupled To a Highly Connected, Complex World
 Dr. Kevin Walker, Michigan State University

Communication Challenges Connecting Scientists, Public Agencies and the Media
Chair: Trudi Boyd, FD Americas Public Affairs/Animal Health Institute

Human Health Perspective
 Dr. Stephan Monroe, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control

Animal Health Perspective
 Dr. Elizabeth Lautner, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Animal Production Perspective
 Dr. Dave Harlan, Cargill Inc.

Health Issues and Social Norms
Chair: Dr. Ann Marie Kimball, University of Washington

Connecting Technology and Social Communication
 Dr. Katherine Waters, University of Minnesota

Local is Global- Animal-Human Syndemics and Social Responsibility in Global Health Research
 Dr. Bonnie Buntain, University of Calgary

An International Perspective: The Situation in Pakistan
 Dr. Amena Hasan, Business for Social Progress

Chair: Dr. Mary Elizabeth Wilson, Harvard School of Public Health
Keynote Address:
 Dr. Stephan Monroe, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control

Challenges for Effective Information Flow
Chair: Urban Lehner, DTN/Progressive Farmer

Panel members:
 Dr. William Karesh, Wildlife Trust/Ecohealth Alliance
 Dr. Sumiko Mekaru, Children’s Hospital Boston,  Harvard Medical School
 Dr. Jim Wall, Texas Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M University

Governance Connections
Chair: Charles Stenholm, Olson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz

Matching Resources to Specific Diseases—Current & Future
 Dr. John Clifford, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Zoonotic Stressors and Infrastructure Implosion
 Dr. Marguerite Pappaiaonou, American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges

Building Early Warning Systems
 Dr. Katinka de Balogh, Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Friday, September 24
Chair: Dr. H.L. Goodwin, University of Arkansas
The Emergence of Human Monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Insights for Guiding Public Policies and Action Planning
Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA School of Public Health

Issues Facing Regulators, Industry and Scientists
Chair: Dr. Tammy Beckham, Foreign Animal Zoonotic Disease Center, Texas A&M University

Framing the Issues:
 Dr. Igor Romero Sosa, U.S./Mexico Exotic Animal  Disease Commission, SENASICA-SAGARPA
 Dr. John Berezowski, Agriculture and Rural Development, Alberta, Canada

Collective Challenges
 Larry Clark, National Wildlife Research Center

Incentives, Resources and Collaboration
 Dr. George Korch, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Action Plan for Public Policies, Health Systems and Communication
Chair: Dr. Juergen Richt, Kansas State University Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases

Bridging the Gaps: Science, Policy and Media
Dr. David Brown, Washington Post

Investment Strategies for Addressing Zoonoses
 Dr. Bruce McCarl, Texas A&M University

Global Perspectives, Global Impacts
 Dr. Fred Murphy, University of Texas Medical Branch
 Col. Bob Walters, U.S. Department of Defense Veterinary Service Activity, Office of the Surgeon General

Addressing the Needs of a Changing World
Chair: Dr. Neil C. Conklin, Farm Foundation, NFP
 Dr. Wayne Allard, former U.S. Senator

The Sept. 23-24 symposium was organized by Farm Foundation, NFP with support provided by:

USDA Economic Research Service 

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Marketing Council

USDA Agricultural Research Service

National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense at Texas A&M University
American Farm Bureau Federation
CHS Inc.

Hormel Foods

Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Farm Credit


Kansas State University Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic

 Animal Diseases

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd.
Elanco Animal Health

Pfizer Animal Health

Wells Fargo Bank

Progressive Farmer

American Veterinary Medical Association
U.S. Animal Health Association

National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials







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