Veterinary medicine and food animal practice in the era of footprints and “One-Health”: a descriptive approach

Document Type : Review Articles


Department of clinical sciences, Faculty of Veterinay Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Our continually changing world has created new demands in society and has profoundly affected ecosystems, cultures, and professions. Ignoring the requirements and consequences of this ever-changing milieu could have devastating effects on all aspects of veterinary medicine. With the increasing global interconnections, several concepts have been created that should be addressed by the veterinary profession; otherwise, some instabilities will affect both the job and the society. In this article, these concepts will be critically analyzed and synthesized to portray an integrated perspective to address the necessities for the economic success of food animal practice, as well as describing the complicated role of veterinary medicine in the future. The first concept is the “evolving veterinary education”, introduced by OIE in 2009, to address the new requirements of competent veterinarians who are able to respond and adapt to modern trading and business requirements. The second concept is “One-Health”, which was introduced to address an integrated and all-inclusive perspective to health issues. All the specifications of this new concept are reflected in each letter of the word HEALTH (Humans, Ecosystems, Animals, Living Together, Harmoniously). The third concept is related to the “virtual water” theory, the total water consumed in the process of every activity, namely, the water footprint. It has been estimated that about 1000 and 15,500 liters of water are consumed in the process of production of a liter of milk and a kilogram of meat, respectively. Finally, the carbon footprint concept has been introduced to measure the total greenhouse gases emissions that enter into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide equivalent through individuals, events, organizations, services, places, products, and industries. The veterinary profession has a critical role and responsibility in the integration of the four abovementioned concepts.

Graphical Abstract

Veterinary medicine and food animal practice in the era of footprints and “One-Health”: a descriptive approach


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