Animal Health

Monitoring animal health and preventing animal disease outbreaks is vital to the economy and safety of the country’s food supply. Production of healthy livestock helps to ensure a safe food supply and keep consumer prices stable.

Importance of Animal Health

Animal disease outbreaks can cost the country millions of dollars due to animal slaughters, trade halts, and subsequent disease eradication efforts. For example, PRRSV, a virus that causes stillborn piglets, costs U.S. farmers an annual $600 million. Animal diseases with human health implications can adversely impact public health, global trade, and the stability of the agricultural segment of the economy. Healthy animals are more likely to result in:

  • Safer food supplies
  • Higher farm productivity (including increased numbers of offspring)
  • Reduced environmental impacts
  • Reduced use of antibiotics
  • Improved animal well-being

NIFA’s Impact

NIFA’s programs support farmers, veterinarians, and scientists in their efforts to guard against disease and find ways to optimize animal health. Our initiatives offer services that:

  • Help place veterinarians in the rural areas where they are needed most
  • Lead efforts to determine how best to respond to and prevent animal disease
  • Foster interstate cooperation to diminish animal disease impacts
  • Safeguard public health through less antibiotics and improved food for humans

Primary Point of Contact: Peter Johnson