Opinion: Lessons the livestock industry can learn from COVID-19

By examining the measures that helped control the COVID-19 outbreak in humans, we can identify similar measures to use in a serious animal disease outbreak.

 

By Matt Taylor, Canadian Cattlemen

October 14, 2020

 

As COVID-19 spreads through human populations around the world, many sectors started untangling lessons learned from one of the worst global health emergencies in our lifetime. The social and economic ripples of this virus across Canada have affected industries, businesses, communities and individuals to varying degrees and the livestock industry has not been spared.

 

COVID-19 highlights the Canadian livestock industry’s many vulnerabilities to a serious animal disease. Just as with COVID-19, there would be no previous exposure or immunity to a serious animal disease such as foot-and-mouth or another highly contagious disease. Such a disease may have significant impacts to industry operations, trade or even human health.

 

These vulnerabilities are perhaps most significant at the outset of an outbreak, when rapid tests, vaccines and other refined tools or strategies that take time to develop are not yet available to control the spread of the disease.

 

Controlling the spread of COVID-19 ...

 

Similarities between COVID-19 and a Serious Animal Disease outbreak ...

 

1.    Foreign travel ban ...

 

2.    Non-essential travel ban  ...

 

3.    Physical distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and in-store traffic directives  ...

 

4.    Emergency financial supports applied with a ‘go big, go fast’ strategy ...

 

5.    Communicating and championing desired practices ...

 

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https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/livestock/beef-cattle/opinion-lessons-the-livestock-industry-can-learn-from-covid-19/