N8 AgriFood is working to solve global challenges surrounding animal disease, caused by the lack of an animal health data and analysis system to provide systematic information on production losses, expenditure and wider economic impacts of animal disease and health problems. 

A consistent and comparable description of animal diseases, the risk factors associated with them, and the effectiveness of intervention strategies to mitigate disease are important for decision making and planning at local, national, and global levels.

For human health, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study has created a comprehensive dataset of diseases, injuries, and risk factors that is used to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. There is no equivalent dataset for animal diseases.

N8 AgriFood is working to change that by creating a system that regularly collects, validates, analyses, and disseminates information on livestock production and animal health economic effects to achieve evidence-based policy making and impact on the Sustainable Development Goals on health, nutrition, environment, and poverty.

A workshop, led by the University of Liverpool, was held to initiate a programme for the Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs). It was hosted by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), convened by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and brought together experts in animal health and livestock production data collection and analysis, and information generation.

The subsequent GBADs programme, which is led by Professor Jonathan Rushton, will provide data for evidence-based econometric analysis of animal health policies and improve resource allocation. 

The GBADs programme has received support from the World Health Organisation, The UK Department for International Development, the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations and the OIE.

Below are reports and presentations which have contributed to the GBADs programme’s growing influence among animal and human health organisations and governments worldwide.