Veterinarians specializing in bovine medicine are clear that “cows are not to be blamed for global warming” so they consider it necessary to “break” with this idea established in a section of society.
This is explained in an interview with Efegro, president of the National Association of Specialists in Bovine Medicine (Enembe), Spain, within the framework of the XXXI World Congress of Bouétrix, to be held in Madrid from 4 to 8 September. ,
Beautrix is the veterinary specialty dedicated to bovines and other ruminants, and this Congress will address other topics to be reviewed in this interview, beyond trying to refute the issue about cattle.
Question: Has it been difficult to bring this World Congress to Spain?Me?
Answer: It has not been easy and in fact, Spain has achieved it in the third attempt.
We have a maximum of 24 topics to address in all scientific areas related to cattle, with the rest ruminants and camels.
More than 3,000 Congressmen from 71 countries will participate in the Congress.
Q: Livestock, especially cattle excreta, is usually in the headlines of a section of society, organizations and even institutions, how will you address this issue at the Madrid meeting?
A: In Congress we’ll try to break down a topic that’s a little questionable. It is necessary to demonstrate how the calculations made on methane emissions by the FAO in its day were not adjusted in reality.
In the pandemic it became clear that cows were not to blame as farms continued to operate and yet methane levels fell, as emissions were reduced by using less fossil fuels due to less use of transportation.
It should also be borne in mind that methane is a gas, although it accumulates in the atmosphere, unlike CO 2, degrades. I do not know the extent to which extreme efforts to reduce methane emissions will have a direct impact on global warming.
Q: As we are ending the heat, especially in the case of fires in rural areas, how can ruminant grazing contribute to reduce the risk?
A: Although this is not a veterinary issue, it has been included in Congress because of our special sensitivity to the rural world as we are in daily contact with it.
It is clear that farms with animals are cared for because there are no weeds or stubble that are vulnerable to fire, so livestock farming, with its activity, is a natural firewall that prevents fire.
It is not a question of using great resources to clear the forest because it is not very sustainable, it assumes a sustainable expense with people cleaning and limited capacity. It’s about sustaining livestock activity so that, in a natural way, we have guaranteed it and can survive those fires.
Q: A claim to address global health under the concept of “one health” is made by the veterinary profession. Since when is this an essential concept for the vet?
A: The veterinary profession is acting with public health as the first defensive barrier for a lifetime. Veterinarians handle this public health task by inspecting products of animal origin in their area, in slaughterhouses or in the agri-food industry.
We are not only Veterinarians but we also have this public service work. The vet is an inspector and a health guarantor that the food of animal origin that will be eaten is healthy.
As far as the concept “One Health” is concerned, it is currently the most modern term to indicate how all health professions are interconnected and that they can work together.
Q: One of the challenges of “One Health” is the fight against antimicrobial resistance. What role is veterinary medicine playing in this challenge?
A: Right in Congress we will see how veterinary antibiotic prescriptions are a reality because we have restricted use of certain antibiotics that also apply to humans. We have antibiotics categorized into categories and a range of them are used which are no longer supplied to people and thus resistance does not arise.
Question: How is the health status of the cattle herd in Spain in terms of tuberculosis and brucellosis?
A: Spain has been working on these two diseases for over 30 years, thanks to livestock sanitation campaigns and we are at a very important stage.
Tuberculosis rates are very low and as far as brucellosis is concerned, there are many autonomous communities where it has been eradicated.
Bluetongue and foot and mouth diseases are also of concern, although they are not zoonoses, as they are contagious between animals and have an economic impact on the herd.
Q: How does veterinary medicine work on bovines and other ruminants? What Businesses Need It?
A: The lack of veterinarians in this specialty is starting to become a problem that worries us and we want to address how to motivate students to dedicate themselves to this specialty, which is as uncomfortable or as bad as it is today. Not as difficult as it used to be.
In faculties we find students who enter to study small animal clinics: they see themselves as small animal doctors and are sometimes unaware of other broader aspects of the profession.