The role of livestock in developing countries Mark A. Mirando and Lawrence P. Reynolds J Anim Sci 2007. 85:2787.

doi: 10.2527/jas.2007-85-11-2787

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Editorial The role of livestock in developing countries
In this issue of the Journal of Animal Science, you will find an invited review by T. F. Randolph and colleagues of the International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya; the Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; the National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico; the University of Toronto, Canada; the International Potato Centre, Lima, Peru; the University of California, Davis; and the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. This article is based on a presentation made at the symposium entitled, “International Animal Agriculture: Global Livestock and Poultry Issues” at the Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association, the Poultry Science Associa´ ´ tion, the Asociacion Mexicana de Produccion Animal, and the American Society of Animal Science (publisher of the Journal of Animal Science), held July 8–12, 2007, in San Antonio, Texas. We invited Dr. Randolph and colleagues to write this review as part of our response to a request from the Council of Science Editors (CSE) to participate in their Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development (http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/global themeissue.cfm). As described by CSE, as part of the Global Theme Issue, “Science journals throughout the world will simultaneously publish papers on this topic of worldwide interest—to raise awareness, stimulate interest, and stimulate research into poverty and human development. This is an international collaboration with journals from developed and developing countries.” However, the purpose of our invitation went beyond responding to the Global Theme Issue of CSE. Our purpose was to highlight the importance of livestock in the global effort to alleviate poverty and promote human health, for those involved in livestock research, for policymakers, and those who are the beneficiaries of these efforts. We also wanted to provide a scholarly analysis of the facts as well as some of the misconceptions concerning the contribution of livestock to the health and economic progress of developing countries. In fact, as Dr. Randolph and colleagues observe in their review, “Animal-source foods are particularly appropriate for combating malnutrition and a range of nutritional deficiencies,” and, “livestock clearly offer the most efficient utilization of resources that would otherwise go unexploited. . .,” and thereby contribute to economic development as well. Thus, “livestock keeping” has been, and will continue to be, integral to improving the well-being of people in developing countries, both from a health and nutrition perspective and from a socioeconomic one. However, as pointed out by Randolph and co-authors, there is a critical need for objective, scientifically sound studies on the role of and methods to promote improved livestock production in developing countries. We could think of nothing more appropriate than a review on this topic for the Journal of Animal Science as part of this global effort to alleviate the suffering of millions of people. To help ensure that they have the intended impact, this editorial and the review article by Randolph and colleagues are being released as open access publications. We offer our sincere thanks to Dr. Randolph and colleagues for their thorough and balanced review of this important topic and to the reviewers and editors involved in bringing this paper to publication. Mark A. Mirando Symposia Editor, Journal of Animal Science Lawrence P. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Animal Science doi:10.2527/jas.2007-85-11-2787

August 20, 2007.

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