USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food production and animal health

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Hossam Ashour

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Background: Severe acute respiratory coronavirus syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, China and spread to other countries and continents causing a variety of respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms which led to death in severe cases. Scope and approach: In this review, we discuss and analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on animal production systems and food production of meat, dairy, eggs, and processed food, in addition to assessing the impact of the pandemic on animal healthcare systems, animal healthcare quality, animal welfare, food chain sustainability, and the global economy. We also provide effective recommendations to animal producers, veterinary healthcare professionals, workers in animal products industries, and governments to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on livestock farming and production systems. Key findings and conclusions: Port restrictions, border restrictions, curfews, and social distancing limitations led to reduced quality, productivity, and competitiveness of key productive sectors. The restrictions have hit the livestock sector hard by disrupting the animal feed supply chain, reducing animal farming services, limiting animal health services including delays in diagnosis and treatment of diseases, limiting access to markets and consumers, and reducing labor-force participation. The inhumane culling of animals jeopardized animal welfare. Egg smashing, milk dumping, and other animal product disruptions negatively impacted food production, consumption, and access to food originating from animals. In summary, COVID-19 triggered lockdowns and limitations on local and international trade have taken their toll on food production, animal production, and animal health and welfare. COVID-19 reverberations could exacerbate food insecurity, hunger, and global poverty. The effects could be massive on the most vulnerable populations and the poorest nation





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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.