Dr Mieghan Bruce
Using a One Health approach to demonstrate the benefits of improving livestock health
Livestock play an essential role in society; animal-source foods are critical to the nutrition, food security, livelihoods and resilience of millions of people around the world. The demand for animal-source foods, such as meat and milk, is expected to increase rapidly, with the majority of production and consumption in developing and emerging countries. This is driven by population growth, urbanisation, rising incomes and changing dietary preferences. However, increasing livestock production puts unsustainable pressure on natural resources, particularly water and land, whilst significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions. These realities require a One Health approach. One Health is an approach that recognises that the health of people, animals and ecosystems are inextricably linked and to improve health we require multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration. It raises awareness about our rapidly growing human populations juxtaposed between limited food and natural resources. The types of methods and the data collection tools needed for a more holistic perspective of the role of livestock in our future will be discussed, with examples from Tanzania and Albania.
Mieghan Bruce is a Lecturer in Veterinary Epidemiology at Murdoch University. Her research focuses on integrating epidemiologic, economic and social dimensions of food systems for improving human nutrition and health. This has involved developing methodology to quantify the linkages between livestock health and child nutritional outcomes in Tanzania and the economics of zoonotic diseases in Albania. Mieghan worked in clinical veterinary practice, before undertaking a MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College and London School of Hygiene and Tropic Medicine, and completing her PhD at the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH), University of London. Prior to joining Murdoch, worked at the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool and was involved in initiating the Global Burden of Animal Diseases. In 2015, Mieghan was awarded an IMMANA Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. During this time, she collaborated with an interdisciplinary team from the University of Sydney on project funded by ACIAR. Mieghan has also worked as a researcher at the Royal Veterinary College, UK, as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization and on EU development projects identifying the costs and benefits associated with the control of livestock and zoonotic diseases.