Integrating animal disease epidemics into disaster risk management

Cheney Shreve, Belinda Davis, Maureen Fordham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - Holistic approaches to public health such as ‘One Health’ emphasize the interconnectedness between people, animals, ecosystems, and epidemic risk, and many advocate for this philosophy to be adopted within disaster risk management (DRM). Historically, animal and human diseases have been managed separately from each other, and apart from other hazards considered for DRM. Shifts in DRM, however, may complement a One Health approach. The taxonomy of hazards considered under DRM has expanded to include medical and social crises such as epizootics and terrorism. However, there is a gap in understanding how epidemic risk is integrated into DRM at the community-level. Approach - TACTIC adopts a participatory case study approach examining preparedness for multiple hazard types (floods, epidemics, earthquakes, and terrorism) at the community-level. This article reports on findings from the epidemic case study which took as its focus the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) epidemic in the UK because of the diverse human, social, and environmental impacts of this ‘animal’ disease. Findings - Epizootic preparedness tends to focus on biosecurity and phytosanitary measures, and is geared towards agriculture and farming. Greater engagement with public health and behavioral sciences to manage public health impacts of animal disease epidemics, and activities for citizen engagement to improve preparedness are discussed. The impermeability of boundaries (hazard, institutional, disciplinary, etc.) is a key constraint to integrating One Health into DRM. Originality - This work helps to situate the One Health discussion within the community-level DRM context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-519
JournalDisaster Prevention and Management
Issue number4
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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