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Tommy Heffernan: Why vets should have a seat at the table in tackling this pandemic

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The ongoing pandemic has focused the minds of all medical professionals on the challenges to public health posed by infectious disease.

As the doctors to multiple species, veterinarians are used to managing such health threats across large and diverse populations, including diseases that jump from wildlife to animals and people like Covid-19.

For veterinarians working in animal agriculture, for example, concepts like "lockdown", "social distancing" and "self-isolation" may have different terms but many of the principles are the same. And for years, these techniques - and communicating them in simple terms to clients such as farmers - have kept diseases like avian flu, salmonella and brucellosis in check.