Recent outbreaks of avian flu, SARS, the Ebola virus, and mad cow disease wreaked havoc on global trade and transport. They also all originated in animals. Humanity today is acutely vulnerable to diseases that start off in other species, yet our health care remains dangerously blinkered. It is time for a new, global approach.
William B. Karesh is Director of the Field Veterinary Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society and Co-chair of the World Conservation Union's Veterinary Specialist Group. Robert A. Cook is Vice President of and Chief Veterinarian at the Wildlife Conservation Society.