May 13, 2021ProgramAnimal Markets and Infectious Disease by Animal Law & Policy Program Research Fellow Ann Linder
The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University today published an article about the Animal Law & Policy Program's research into animal markets and infectious disease.
The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University engages through interdisciplinary research to advance and deepen the understanding of critical issues relevant to South Asia and its relationship with the world.
In the article, Ann explains that three in four emerging infectious diseases are spread to humans from animals. Yet, the nature of our relationship with animals and the forces that drive this risk are only now beginning to come into focus. Our research operates at the intersection of public health, conservation, and animal welfare to better understand these connections and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks.
Many of the world’s most devastating diseases—including COVID-19, SARS, HIV, Avian Influenza, and Ebola–are believed to be zoonotic in nature, originating in species such as bats, great apes, and rodents. As the global death toll from COVID-19 inches towards 3.5 million, understanding how and where diseases spread from animals to humans is of paramount importance on both nationally and internationally.