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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.

CynthiaFoto 4Director: Dr. Cynthia Schuck-Paim

Cynthia received her D.Phil. in Zoology from Oxford University. Her D.Phil was followed by two research fellowships (at Oxford and Brazil), as well as by various research projects for institutions in the UK, USA and Brazil. With over 60 scientific papers published in international journals (, her research includes studies on the mortality impact of the 1918 and 2009 influenza pandemics, on the burden of respiratory infectious diseases, the evaluation of the impact of public health interventions using hospitalization data, the impact of the pneumococcal vaccine to reduce mortality in children, studies on animal behavior and a pioneer work on the environmental conditions favoring the evolution of advanced cognition. She has taught workshops on data analysis and scientific capacity building for many years and worked as a pro-bono researcher for various non-profit organizations. She currently investigates farm animal health and welfare. She is also a member of the IVU International Council.
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