The World Health Organisation (WHO, 2024) define One Health as an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems.  It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and inter-dependent.

The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate changes and contributing to sustainable development.

(One Health Commission, 2024, ‘What is One Health?’, [infographic])


Following the COVID 19 pandemic, a true example of the need for One Health collaboration to prevent and mitigate against such challenges, the concept is becoming more embedded in society as the global community will continue to encounter new and emerging diseases, climate and societal change, alongside greater awareness and recognition of just how interwoven human, animal, plant and ecosystem health are.  Transdisciplinary working, collaboration and communication are core to the One Health approach, as is the understanding that One Health exists at a local, national and international level.

Veterinary Public Health practice by its very nature uses a One Health approach.  Some Veterinary Public Health Association examples of One Health in action include:

Raw Pet Food and mitigation against the risk this poses

The feeding of raw pet food in the UK has increased in popularity.  However, the feeding of raw pet food also carries risk to both pets and their owners through exposure to parasites and bacteria.  VPHA have explored the available evidence and considered the way pet owners purchase, handle and prepare raw food for their pets in conjunction with conditions of sale, legislation and risk of zoonoses to develop their recommendations.

International One Health & Veterinary Public Health Networks and Collaboration

VPHA Council members are active across many national and international veterinary forums feeding in the perspective from those who work on the One Health interface day in day out.

Examples of groups we are engaged in include the British Veterinary Association (BVA) One Health Co-ordination Group, Veterinarians for Public Health (UEVH) and Federation of Veterinarian Europe (FVE).

Measures to control Dangerous Dogs

Agri-food trade

Farm to fork journey – veterinary work to maintain animal health and welfare and to ensure prevention of zoonotic disease

Prevention of disease in animals to reduce the environmental impact of production of food from animal sources

Measures to ensure no harmful residues of veterinary medicines in food from animals.