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Animal health aspects of adaptation to climate change: beating the heat and parasites in a warming Europe

  • P. J. Skuce (a1), E. R. Morgan (a2), J. van Dijk (a3) and M. Mitchell (a4)

Abstract

Weather patterns in northern European regions have changed noticeably over the past several decades, featuring warmer, wetter weather with more extreme events. The climate is projected to continue on this trajectory for the foreseeable future, even under the most modest warming scenarios. Such changes will have a significant impact on livestock farming, both directly through effects on the animals themselves, and indirectly through changing exposure to pests and pathogens. Adaptation options aimed at taking advantage of new opportunities and/or minimising the risks of negative impacts will, in themselves, have implications for animal health and welfare. In this review, we consider the potential consequences of future intensification of animal production, challenges associated with indoor and outdoor rearing of animals and aspects of animal transportation as key examples. We investigate the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the epidemiology of important livestock pathogens, with a particular focus on parasitic infections, and the likely animal health consequences associated with selected adaptation options. Finally, we attempt to identify key gaps in our knowledge and suggest future research priorities.

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Keywords

Animal health aspects of adaptation to climate change: beating the heat and parasites in a warming Europe

  • P. J. Skuce (a1), E. R. Morgan (a2), J. van Dijk (a3) and M. Mitchell (a4)

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