One Health

Public Health
In this article:
  • Learn about the concept of One Health and the connections among animal, human, and environmental health.
  • Discover how the AVMA supports One Health.
  • Find out why veterinarians play integral roles in the One Health movement.
Public Health

One Health refers to two related ideas: First, it is the concept that humans, animals, and the world we live in are inextricably linked. Second, it refers to the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

The concept behind One Health has existed for centuries. But even today studies in the areas of human, animal, and environmental science are largely conducted independently, and obvious connections may be missed. As the human population continues to grow and our relationships with animals continue to evolve, understanding the interdependencies of people, animals, and the environment becomes even more critical to our collective health and safety.

Veterinarians and One Health

Veterinarians play an integral role in One Health because animals both impact and are impacted by people and the environment. Whether as clinical practitioners, epidemiologists, or ecological experts, veterinarians are essential to advancing One Health and protecting the health and safety of its three pillars— animals, people, and the environment.

Animal health and welfare

When it comes to protecting the health and welfare of animals, no one is more committed or better equipped to handle the task than veterinarians and our teams. We don’t just care for animals when they’re sick or injured. We provide preventive care and exams that keep them healthy, work with owners to make sure they get nutritious food, help manage their weight, provide guidance on behavior and training, offer advice on pet selection, and much more.

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Public health

From issues like food safety and security, to diseases that can be transferred between people and animals, veterinarians have the unique knowledge and experience to address the many ways that animals impact people. Likewise, human and public health issues often affect animal health and welfare. For example, restrictions on sheltering animals with people during natural disasters can result in animal abandonment.

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Environmental health

Veterinary expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, and ecology are vital to efforts to understand, control, prevent, diagnose, and treat environment-associated diseases that affect both people and animals.

Waste disposal    Wildlife management

One Health Commission

The One Health Commission, working together with numerous other groups around the world, seeks to advance the One Health movement through education and cross-disciplinary cooperation. The AVMA was a driving force in its creation.

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Veterinarians & pediatricians: Collaboration protects people, animals

AVMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics have issued a joint statement on the value of collaborating professionally to protect both human and animal health.

Read the statement

What it takes to build a career in One Health

Learn about education, employment, and workforce development in the One Health arena. This webinar covers training and skills needed for these careers, what One Health workers do, and how people find positions in this field.

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