One Health as a collective responsibility

M.F. Verweij, F.L.B. Meijboom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In spite of the fact that in recent years many steps have been taken in the control of zoonotic diseases, we are still confronted with recent outbreaks of, for example Ebola and Avian Flu (H5N8) and with public debates on the preferred way to deal with zoonoses. Such debates can easily get polarised. Therefore, we argue that a more integrated approach is needed. In this paper we propose an integration on three levels. First, the One Health initiative could serve a fruitful approach to take the interrelatedness of human and animal health into account. Second, we argue that it might be fruitful to approach societal controversies about how societies should respond to zoonotic risks not by focusing on conflicting interests, but as conflicts between broadly shared values. Finally, an effective approach of and a discussion on zoonoses require a more sophisticated view on moral responsibilities, which goes beyond the level of the question ‘who is to blame?’ for a specific outbreak. In this paper we claim that although finding acceptable and well-justified policies will remain a difficult task, these three steps towards a pluralistic approach to thinking about prevention of and response to zoonosis outbreaks may create possibilities to overcome conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnow your food
Subtitle of host publicationFood ethics and innovation
EditorsD.E. Dumitras, I.M. Aerts, S. Aerts
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868131
ISBN (Print)9789086862641
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Prevention
  • Responsibility
  • Values
  • Zoonoses


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