The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called for a ‘One Health approach’ in its ‘wish list’ for COP26, taking place in Glasgow this weekend.

The One Health approach is the recognition of the fact that people, animals and the environment are interlinked, and the combined utilisation of all three – at local, regional, national and global levels – to achieve optimal health outcomes.

In its wish list, the BVA said:

“We need a true One Health approach that understands the interconnected needs of the environment, humans and animals.”

The other four points on the list were:

  1. A commitment to animal health and welfare as a key sustainability objective;
  2. Understanding and promotion of the role of sustainable resource management to protect and conserve species, habitats and biodiversity;
  3. Ambitious but realistic targets that encourage both innovation and pragmatism in order to be genuinely achievable;
  4. International commitments that are genuinely fair and inclusive and that close equality gaps, in line with our own commitments to equality and inclusivity.

In a statement including these wishes, BVA president Justine Shotton said:

Climate change is a global emergency, and the veterinary profession is uniquely placed to advocate for animal health and welfare and public health in international efforts to halt climate change and mitigate its effects.

“As world leaders gather in Glasgow it provides a perfect opportunity for us as individuals, organisations, and businesses to think about our own actions and BVA is keen to stimulate debate and ideas within the veterinary profession on what we can all do to reach net zero. But this is all in the context of national and international commitments.”