An aspect of public health services, often maintained at a national level in recognition of its importance, the main aims of veterinary public health are to protect humans from zoonotic diseases and to protect livestock herds from epidemic disease by enforcing strict animal quarantine and, where feasible, the use of vaccines. High-intensity livestock management, use of animal feed fortified with animal protein, confinement of herds in feedlots, factory farming, and transport of live animals to distant markets have all increased the risks of epidemics in livestock. Outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, avian influenza on large poultry farms, and other outbreaks in recent years have all underscored the economic importance of this specialty. The possibility of bioterrorist attacks on animal herds adds a further dimension to its importance.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.