Discussions on diseases of wildlife have generally focused on two basic models: the effect of disease on wildlife, and the role that wildlife plays in diseases affecting people or domestic animal health, welfare, economics and trade. Traditionally, wildlife professionals and conservationists have focused on the former, while most human/animal health specialists have been concerned largely with the latter. Lately, the (re-)emergence of many high-profile infectious diseases in a world with ever-increasing globalisation has led to a more holistic approach in the assessment and mitigation of health risks involving wildlife (with a concurrent expansion of literature). In this paper, the authors review the role of wildlife in the ecology of infectious disease, the staggering magnitude of the movement of wild animals and products across international borders in trade, the pathways by which they move, and the growing body of risk assessments from a multitude of disciplines. Finally, they highlight existing recommendations and offer solutions for a collaborative way forward.
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