The importance of early warning and rapid outbreak response

Animal diseases are one of the biggest threats to humans. This is especially true when it comes to agriculture and livestock. A single outbreak of a dangerous disease could have a massive impact on food supplies, jobs, and human health. So, a lot of work goes in to improving and protecting animal health.

The best approach here is to look at prevention, preparation, and response. Early detection in particular can be vital. It can then facilitate a much faster reaction. In turn that could reduce the chance of diseases spreading.


One of the leading bodies here is the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The FAO has been focusing on animal health and disease control for years. Their main goal is to protect food chains to ensure food and global health security.

An important thing the FAO does is work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) on the Global Early Warning System. This brings together capacity building at regional levels and combines it with global information management. As a result, it can help with preparedness and efficient responses.

Local capacity

As part of this the aim is to strengthen and support vets and animal health services around the world. The goal is to put an early warning system in place. That would allow information about any outbreaks of disease to spread quickly.

To do this, the FAO provides training and a number of other essential resources such as real time data gathering. There was a workshop on it in Rome on December 14/15. The aim here was to bring together experts to improve coordination, containment, and control, especially around the most high priority animal diseases.

Global level

On the larger stage, the FAO wants to maximise detection, verification of outbreaks, analysis, and response. Essential here is the ability to forecast, do risk assessments, and pass on alerts.

What can you do?

Individuals in the agricultural industry can take the lead from the FAO and be proactive. For example, they can monitor animal and pasture conditions. They can also be ready to respond quickly to protect animals if there is an outbreak.

Talk to us about animal health

JS Hubbuck Ltd has been in the agricultural industry for decades. We remain a family run business and strive to give every customer a great service. In fact, we have built our reputation on it and have lots of happy repeat clients.

One thing that helps here is we have a broad selection of products to help with animal health. For example, we have quality feeds, supplements, and more. We even stock bedding. So, you can buy what you need from us. In addition, you can get in touch if you need advice or want more product details.