Picture of the week…

Is this a human-animal interface? (Photo by Liz. Vanwormer)

What is a human-animal interface?

An interface is the common boundary, or the place where two things touch or meet.  The human-animal interface is the place where humans and animals come into contact.  This interface can be in your home where you interact with your pets, in your fields where you work with livestock, or in the forest where you may encounter wildlife.  The intensity of interaction at this interface can vary greatly.  If you live in a city, you may have very little intensity of interaction at the human-animal interface, whereas a hunter’s interaction can be intense.

Why is this important?  Approximately 75% of emerging infectious diseases are of animal origin, so both the type of interaction and the intensity of that interaction has implications for disease transmission and human-animal health.

In the Ruaha ecosystem, pastoralist communities interact intimately with their herds, and in many places live close to conservation areas where they (and their herds) are exposed to wild animals.  HALI is working with pastoralist communities in Ruaha to better understand the context of the pastoralist human-animal interface to improve both human and animal health.

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