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[Comment] Initiation of Global Burden of Animal Diseases Programme

A consistent and comparable description of animal diseases, the risk factors associated with them, and the effectiveness of intervention strategies to mitigate these diseases are important for decision making and planning. The economic impact of a pathogen or animal disease is a function of disease frequency, infection intensity, the effect of the disease on mortality and productivity in animals and its effects on human health, and efforts to respond to the disease.1 All of these factors can vary over time between species and the contexts in which people and animals live, and need to be measured to understand the patterns of impact at local, national, and global levels.