|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|31. Veterinary services|
Veterinary services are of even more immediate relevance to the environment than is the case for sectors such as plant or animal production. Their principal purpose is to preserve or restore animal health and their environmental impacts are thus essentially positive. However, the possibility of negative impacts - generally of an indirect nature - cannot be precluded. The veterinary sector primarily performs a service function for livestock farming and fisheries, as well as playing an important role in food inspection.
Activities in the veterinary sector cover the following areas:
- diagnosis and control of diseases, involving treatment,
prophylaxis, vector control and epizootic-disease control
- artificial insemination and embryo transfer
- laboratory activities, comprising laboratory diagnostics, vaccine production and residue analysis
- food inspection, above all meat inspection in slaughterhouses and food hygiene.
In the fields of disease diagnosis, treatment and vector control, a distinction can be made between "modern" measures carried out by formally trained veterinary surgeons and traditional practices employed by the animal owners themselves or by healers.
In the agro-industry sector (meat and milk processing, fodder hygiene), veterinary services perform a monitoring function. Veterinary medicine is also closely linked with the pharmaceutical industry by virtue of its need for drugs and vaccines.