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WICHITA, Kan. -- Cargill here and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have formed a partnership to support global efforts to examine health links among humans, livestock, and wildlife, and to monitor for avian influenza and other diseases shared between people and animals.
Cargill is committing $1.5 million for two initiatives spearheaded by WCS: expanding a global surveillance network for avian influenza in Indonesia and
Vietnam, and introducing a grants program for animal health projects in Brazil.
"Food security begins with healthy animals," said Mike Robach, Cargill's v.p./global food safety. "We believe that the health of wildlife and livestock are interconnected, and will require a multi-disciplinary approach in order to develop safe and effective food systems. WCS is a logical partner for Cargill given their experience and science-based approach with integrating animal health and wildlife conservation programs."
In Brazil, Cargill will fund a new WCS initiative to support innovative projects that examine the health linkages among humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. The projects will be selected after a stringent assessment by a cross-sectoral committee of Brazilian experts.
With support from Cargill, WCS held a ground-breaking "One World-One Health" Symposium in Brazil in October this year.
In Vietnam and Indonesia, where many serious outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred, the Cargill-WCS partnership will help expand the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance (GAINS) program. In partnership with local government bodies, Cargill and WCS will train local teams to survey and monitor animals in market trade centers, allowing for the comparison of virulence in pathogens between market and wild bird populations. GAINS is a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder program for the collection and sharing of data on avian influenza to combat and control this and other diseases shared among wildlife, domestic animals and people (www.GAINS.org).