WILDLIFE DISEASE RISK ANALYSIS: ONLINE TRAINING COURSE

7 March – 29 April 2022

Applications are open for the Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis online training course developed by the IUCN SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG). In situations where disease is a direct threat to wildlife species conservation, or wildlife are implicated as a vector or reservoir of disease impacting domestic animals and/or people, a Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis can help decision-makers determine how best to respond. A structured Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis presents an opportunity for multiple stakeholders with varied interests to develop collaborative plans that benefit all those involved and ensure the conservation of threatened wildlife species. The course has been designed to equip participants with an understanding of how to put the IUCN Guidelines for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis into practice.

More information about the course and course application materials can be found here.

Registration closes on 18 February.

One Health Webinar – Selva Maya GIZ regional programme

February 2nd at 10:00 – 11:30 CST (Mx-GT-BZ)

You are invited to participate in the GIZ regional programme Selva Maya first One Health webinar and discuss with experts from academia and public institutions the importance of disease surveillance and primary prevention.

Recording: Expert Talk with Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar

January 18th at 16:30 – 17:45 CET

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife.

During this online session Richard Kock and Hernán Cáceres-Escobar shared their insights from investigating the links between wildlife and the emergence of human infectious zoonoses and EIDs. They are both lead authors of the upcoming “Situation analysis on the roles and risks of wildlife in the emergence of human infectious diseases” by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). As member of the Alliance, you may access their “Highlights” in the Alliance’s Library.

About the Speakers

Richard Kock is a wildlife veterinary ecologist, infectious disease researcher and conservationist and was co-chair of the IUCN SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group (2004-2021). He has worked almost entirely in the field of wildlife health and disease since 1980 with a focus on African and Asian ecosystems. He is on the WHO IHR and OIE Crisis Management Committee expert list, an Associate Research Fellow at Chatham House and past Council Member of the Wildlife Disease Association where he remains active on various task forces and committees, and is an adjunct Professor at Tufts University and Njala University. He holds a chair in Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases, leading a research portfolio currently of £1.5 million pounds in the fields of wildlife health and zoonosis at the Pathobiology and Population Sciences Department at the Royal Veterinary College.

Hernán Cáceres-Escobar is a veterinarian and conservation scientist. He studies the links between anthropogenic-driven environmental change, biodiversity loss, and emerging infectious diseases. He uses transdisciplinary participatory approaches and modelling techniques to develop innovative evidence-based interventions and policies for an ever-changing world. He has a diverse international background and practical experience working with multi-cultural teams at the interface of science, policy, and practice with local and indigenous communities, government agencies, NGOs, IGOs, industry partners, and academics. In his current position at Sapienza University, he is combining his skills to explore how anthropogenic-driven environmental change affects disease hazards to create future scenarios of risk.

Session Recording

If you missed the presentation, you can find the recorded session here:

Recording: Expert Talk with Craig Stephen

December 6th at 16:30 – 17:45 CET

About this Event

Identifying and reducing human health risks from wildlife trade needs an internationally coordinated and cooperative approach. To this end, the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade serves as an inclusive and interdisciplinary platform to discuss challenges and formulate solutions vis-á-vis human-wildlife interfaces and associated health risks and the emergence and spread of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife.

At this event Dr. Craig Stephen will share his insights from reviewing the evidence how to manage the risk of disease emergence in the wildlife trade. You may download the full review by the World Health Organization (OIE) from the Alliance’s Library. He will speak about how confronting the threat of emerging infectious diseases will require adaptive management that is multifaceted and searches for systemic solutions. One challenge clearly lies in reducing the threat of emerging diseases while concurrently improving health, equity, and well-being for all species.

Speaker

Craig Stephen DVM Phd is a veterinary epidemiologist who has worked in the realms of One Health and EcoHealth for the past 25 years. He is the former Executive Director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and currently holds two clinical professorships at the School of Population and Public Health (University of British Columbia) and the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Most recently, he has become the president of the McEachran Institute, a new think tank dedicated to making animal health professions “future-ready.” He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed and technical papers and has edited or co-edited 5 books related to One Health including; ‘Animals Health and Society; Health Promotion, Harm Reduction and Health Equity in a One Health World’ (CRC Press) , as well as upcoming books on ‘Wildlife Population Health’ (Springer Nature) and ‘Climate Change and Animal Health’ (CRC Press). Craig’s current academic focus is adapting concepts of harm reduction and health promotion for public health to wildlife and environmental health, developing and training One Health and Climate Change leaders, and developing One Health in practice. More information can be found at craigstephenconsulting.com 

Session Recording

If you missed Craig Stephen’s presentation, you can find the recorded session here:

Monitoring white-tailed deer for SARS-CoV-2

This statement was published by the OIE on December 3 2021:

Recent scientific research has shown a high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection within white-tailed deer populations in North America. This is the first time that the virus has been detected at population levels in wildlife. This discovery requires further research to determine if white-tailed deer could become a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 and to assess other animal or public health implications. As they do not show clinical signs of infection, white-tailed deer should be monitored for the possibility of becoming a silent reservoir.  

While there is currently no evidence of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from white tailed-deer to humans, there appears to have been multiple introductions of the virus into white-tailed deer populations by humans. We encourage countries to raise awareness with both hunters, and those living or working with wildlife, to avoid unnecessary interactions with wildlife and to avoid leaving any human waste or objects in forested areas that may be ingested or touched by deer and other wildlife. 

Despite the broad circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer populations, the virus does not appear to have significantly mutated. While this lessens concerns for the emergence of new virus strains that may be harmful to humans, more information must be gathered to understand the effects of the virus’ introduction to wildlife on the ecosystem. Therefore, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) calls on countries and other concerned parties to:

Encourage collaboration between national Veterinary Services and national wildlife authorities, whose partnership is key to promoting animal health and safeguarding human and environmental health.

Inform the OIE of current wildlife surveillance and monitoring efforts for SARS-CoV-2, including relevant scientific studies concerning white-tailed deer or other cervids through SARSCoV2@oie.int  

Monitor, and where possible, test cervids populations in all regions to further understand the spread of infection within the while-tailed deer population and among other deer and wildlife species.  

Share all geneticsequence data from animal surveillance studies through publicly available databases. 

Report confirmed animal cases of SARS-CoV-2 to the OIE through World Animal Health Information System (OIE-WAHIS  ).

Additional information : 

– OIE Wildlife Health Framework   

– OIE Guidelines for working with free-ranging wild mammals in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic  

– OIE Guidance on working with farmed animals of species susceptible to infection with SARS-CoV-2   

– Guidance on SARS-CoV-2 and Free-ranging White-Tailed Deer (U.S Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies)   

OHHLEP’s definition of “One Health”

Joint Tripartite (FAO, OIE, WHO) and UNEP welcome newly formed operational definition

The One Health definition developed by the OHHLEP states:

One Health is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent. The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) welcome the newly formed operational definition of One Health from their advisory panel, the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), whose members represent a broad range of disciplines in science and policy-related sectors relevant to One Health from around the world. The four organizations are working together to mainstream One Health so that they are better prepared to prevent, predict, detect, and respond to global health threats and promote sustainable development.

The new comprehensive OHHLEP One Health definition aims to promote a clear understanding and translation across sectors and areas of expertise. While health, food, water, energy, and environment are all wider topics with sector specific and specialist concerns, the collaboration across sectors and disciplines will contribute to protecting health, addressing health challenges such as the emergence of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance and promoting health and integrity of our ecosystems. Moreover, One Health, linking humans, animals and the environment, can help to address the full spectrum of disease control – from disease prevention to detection, preparedness, response, and management – and to improve and promote health and sustainability.

Through combined energies of the four organizations, a comprehensive Global Plan of Action for One Health is in development, supported and advised by OHHLEP. This plan aims to mainstream and operationalize One Health at global, regional, and national levels; support countries in establishing and achieving national targets and priorities for interventions; mobilize investment; promote a whole of society approach and enable collaboration, learning and exchange across regions, countries, and sectors.

Click here for more information