Rahimi P, Islam MS, Duarte PM, Tazerji SS, Sobur MA, El Zowalaty ME, Ashour HM, Rahman MT
Trends Food Sci Technol - (-) - [2021-12-06; online 2021-12-06]
The new coronavirus, named the severe acute respiratory coronavirus syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 originated in China and spread to other countries and continents causing a variety of respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms that led to death in severe cases. In this review, we discuss and analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on animal production systems and food products including meat, dairy, eggs, and processed food, in addition to assessing the pandemic's impact on animal health care systems, animal health care quality, animal welfare, food chain sustainability, and the global economy. We also provide effective recommendations to animal producers, veterinary healthcare professionals, workers in animal products industries, and governments to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on livestock farming and production systems. Port restrictions, border restrictions, curfews, and social distancing limitations led to reduced quality, productivity, and competitiveness of key productive sectors. The restrictions have hit the livestock sector hard by disrupting the animal feed supply chain, reducing animal farming services, limiting animal health services including delays in diagnosis and treatment of diseases, limiting access to markets and consumers, and reducing labor-force participation. The inhumane culling of animals jeopardized animal welfare. Egg smashing, milk dumping, and other animal product disruptions negatively impacted food production, consumption, and access to food originating from animals. In summary, COVID-triggered lockdowns and limitations on local and international trade have taken their toll on food production, animal production, and animal health and welfare. COVID-19 reverberations could exacerbate food insecurity, hunger, and global poverty. The effects could be massive on the most vulnerable populations and the poorest nations.