Neglected Animal Health is Affecting Public Health in Pakistan


by Aiman Tahir Laghari

10 Best Activities



Lahore: Urging the dire need to invest in the animal health sector.  A welfare organization has reported that about 65 to 75 percent of the rise in infectious diseases is caused by animals. 

An International organization working on the health of animals, Brooke has highlighted the extreme imbalance in the healthcare services of Pakistan. Animal health is not only necessary for the veterinary health sector but for public health as well as for the economic development of the country.

There is an urgent need to invest in the animal health sector in Pakistan by increasing the number of veterinary specialists as well as the production of medicines and vaccines, Brooke further added. 


Pakistan’s animal population is about 1 billion compared to the United Kingdom. While the UK only has 131 million animals. The number of registered doctors for animals is half as compared to the UK. 

The report from Brooke organization further highlighted that more than 8 million of the population is involved in the production of livestock and they earn more than 35% of their income from it. 

However, in Pakistan, there is only 1 veterinary doctor to check 100,000 cattle. This ratio is quite alarming.

Dr. Javed Gondal, the Programme Manager of Brooke Foundation stated that improving animal health and welfare in Pakistan is necessary to reduce poverty and increase sustainable development. “We believe that the recommendations in the ‘Action for Animal Health’ policy brief can play an important role in achieving these goals,” he said. 

Dr. Klara Seville, the head of global animal health, welfare, community development, and research said that about 60 to 70 percent of the emerging infectious disease came from animals. 

Till now, the neglected animal health sector has only led to the shortage of drugs, and vaccines, gaps in disease surveillance, and veterinary doctors. 

The report of Brooke recommended that immediate action is needed to add her health, preventive veterinary, alternative, and complementary veterinary medicine into the curriculum of animal health.

 The quality of education in both colleges and universities is contested but there is no quality control mechanism after the qualification in the private sector.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan was formed to regulate the manufacturing, export, import, sale, distribution, and storage of human and animal health-related vaccines and drugs. 

However, comprehensive animal disease surveillance is absent in the country. Most of the data is collected only at the provincial level using paper, which hinders the rapid collection of data and proper response. 

To address the global health threats, Pakistan needs to strengthen animal health education, institutions, surveillance, workforce, vaccine, drug quality, and control. 

This starts with developing the appropriate regulatory and legislative framework, suggested by the Brooke Report. 

Apart from this, policies, better communication, and data sharing in the health sector are essential. Communities have to be involved in the welfare of animals, prevention of disease, surveillance, and control measures, the report further added.