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The connection between human health and animal welfare

Stereotypic behavior is an indicator of poor animal welfare. A prolonged condition of poor welfare may lead to pathological illnesses in animals, which then causes lengthy and extended suffering for the animal and further deteriorates its state of wellbeing. However it is not only animals that will suffer from this. If this cruel act of neglect towards animals is not ended, humans, too, will bear the consequences. This is because human health is strongly connected to animal welfare.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 60 percent of new diseases that have affected humans over the past ten years have been caused by pathogens originating from animals or animal products. Such diseases are called zoonotic diseases, which are infections that are easily transmissible from animals to humans and vice versa. Several examples of zoonoses include tuberculosis, hepatitis, salmonellosis, anthrax, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, avian influenza, and rabies. Zoonoses are an immediate public health threat, particularly for developing countries, and thus require priority in outbreak prevention through ensuring better national health measures for humans and animals.