Fish market in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, photo by Jamie Oliver, 2007

Fish market in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (photo credit: WorldFish/Jamie Oliver).

Agrilinks is an online community for food security and agricultural development practitioners. During the month of March 2018, Agrilinks shines the spotlight on the topic of food safety, with a series of feature articles and resources by food safety experts on how households and farmers can ensure the safety of their crops and animal-sourced foods and prevent post-harvest losses.

In her article, Delia Grace, joint program leader for Animal and Human Health at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), gives an overview of the food safety research activities of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). Grace also leads the A4NH flagship program on food safety.

She calls for collaborative approaches to knowledge-sharing towards improved food safety, nutrition and health of people throughout the world.

“Collaboration and knowledge-sharing will be key in addressing food safety challenges, and this collaboration must include the formal and informal markets, policymakers, researchers, and public and private sectors,” she says.

Read the article, Food safety: March spotlight needs year-round attention

ILRI Asia

A two-year project that will assess veterinary health management and veterinary drug use in Vietnamese pig farms has been launched.

The Health and Antibiotics in the Vietnamese Pig Production Project, known as VIDAPIG, is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, the National Institute of Veterinary Research, the National Institute of Nutrition and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

It will carry out research to identify and evaluate factors affecting veterinary health and veterinary drug use with the aim of establishing antimicrobial usage practices that are based on a One Health approach across the smallholder pig sector.

The project will be implemented from February 2018 to January 2020 in Bac Ninh Province.

Inception workshop of VIDAPIG project in Hanoi, 2 March 2018From left: Hung Nguyen, ILRI regional representative for East and Southeast Asia, Anders Dalsgaard from the University of Copenhagen, Pham Thi Ngoc, deputy director of the National Institute of Veterinary Research and Le Danh Tuyen, director…

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ILRI Clippings

African clay pots (via the Dick Jemison Tribal Arts Collection).

‘. . . Around 70 percent of all infectious diseases are zoonotic, moving from animals—usually livestock—to humans, through either contact or the consumption of animal products and by-products. The International Livestock Research Institute estimates that 2.7 million people die from zoonotic diseases each year, while approximately 2.5 billion people get sick. To offer some sense of scale, a recent study led by Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary and former director of the National Economic Council at the White House, estimated that the costs of pandemic diseases—nearly all of which begin in animals—fall in the same range as those expected by climate change-related disasters.

‘”And yet only 4.5 percent of development money, of aid, goes to agriculture,” Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, executive director of the International Federation for Animal Health—the global trade association for leading animal pharmaceutical…

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Cross-bred Pigs in Kiboga District, Uganda

Cross-bred Pigs in Kiboga District, Uganda (photo credit: ILRI/Kristina Roesel).

Today is International One Health Day, an occasion celebrated around the world every year on 3 November to bring global attention to the need for One Health interactions and for the world to ‘see them in action’.

To mark this day, we highlight a new discussion paper published by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) that contributes towards a greater understanding of One Health from a largely overlooked social science perspective.

The report provides a summary of research conducted in 2016 in the peri-urban to urban pig value chain between Mukono District and Kampala in Uganda’s central region. Its focus is the zoonotic parasite Taenia solium, also referred to as the pork tapeworm, and cysticercosis, an infection with the larvae of T. solium. It highlights perceptions of T. solium and other pathogens associated with pigs as articulated by farmers, butchers, slaughterhouse workers, pork consumers and medical professionals.

Download the report, Pigs, people, pathogens: A qualitative analysis of the pig value chain in the central region of Uganda by Rebekah Thompson.

The Lancet Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and provides an independent assessment of the health effects of climate change, the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the health implications of these actions. The research evidence thus generated will help to inform decision-making and drive an accelerated policy response to climate change.

The initiative is a collaboration between 24 academic institutions and intergovernmental organizations based in every continent and with representation from a wide range of disciplines including climate scientists, ecologists, economists, social and political scientists, public health professionals and doctors.

The Lancet Countdown’s 2017 report tracks 40 indicators across five areas, arriving at three key conclusions:

  • The human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible.
  • The delayed response to climate change over the past 25 years has jeopardised human life and livelihoods.
  • The past 5 years have seen an accelerated response, and in 2017 momentum is building across several sectors.

Visit the Lancet Countdown website for a thematic breakdown of the report. The full text of the Lancet Countdown 2017 report is available for free via The Lancet website.

Among the report’s co-authors are Delia Grace, veterinary epidemiologist and co-leader of the Animal and Human Health program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Paula Dominguez-Salas, postdoctoral researcher in nutrition at the Royal Veterinary College on joint appointment at ILRI.

CGIAR Research Program on Livestock

Photo credit: Fernanda Dórea

Research shows that six out of 10 emerging human infectious diseases are zoonoses. Thirteen zoonotic diseases sicken over 2 billion people and they kill 2.2 million each year, mostly in developing countries. Poor people are more exposed to zoonoses because of their greater contact with animals, less hygienic environments, lack of knowledge on hazards, and lack of access to healthcare. 80% of the burden of these zoonotic diseases thus falls on people in low and middle income countries.

A workshop at last week’s Uppsala Health Summit zoomed in on zoonotic diseases in livestock and ways to mitigate risk behaviour associated with their emergence and spread. Critical roles and behaviours of people and institutions in preventing, detecting and responding to zoonotic livestock diseases were identified – as well as necessary changes and incentives so we are well-prepared for infections long before they reach people.

These zoonotic infections…

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ILRI Clippings

The interview below, Could animal-sourced protein really solve the world’s hunger crisis?, of veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert Delia Grace, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was originally published in the Oct 2017 ‘Food and Nutrition Security’ issue of the monthly newsletter for Health for Animals. Both display quote graphics below are by Health for Animals.

Each year, 161 million children under the age of five lack the nutrients they require for their development.

This malnourishment causes stunting—both physical and cognitive—and ultimately costs our world 4.5 trillion US dollars in economic impacts each year.

In a world where extreme poverty has fallen in recent decades, this ‘hidden hunger’ can often be forgotten.

‘With such a huge problem to tackle and FAO’s World Hunger Day on October 16th, we spoke to Dr Delia Grace, Programme Director at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in…

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