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IVU Department of Global Health

The causal role of the large-scale confinement of animals in farming operations in the emergence of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance is well-established. Livestock species now constitute more biomass than all wild mammals combined, harboring a larger number of zoonotic viruses than their wild relatives. Importantly, the ideal conditions for the emergence of highly pathogenic viruses are present in intensive animal farming systems. Additionally, over 70% of the antibiotics sold in the world are used in animals raised as a source of food, being intrinsically linked to the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in the human population, one of the greatest existing threats to global health.

In recognizing that animal farming systems represent an unacceptable level of threat to public health, the Global Health Department of the International Vegetarian Union advocates for a transition towards safer methods of food production as a strategy at the core of protecting the well-being of current and future generations.
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