The Hunter's Role in One Health

Embracing the One Health approach is crucial for understanding the interconnectedness of human health, domestic animals, wildlife, and the environment. Hunters play a pivotal role in this framework, contributing to the monitoring and management of Indiana's wildlife health.

Example: Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

Illustrating the connection between One Health and wildlife health is the case of H5N1 HPAI in Indiana. This virus affects both domestic and wild birds, with potential transmission to humans and other mammals. In 2022, a commercial turkey farm in Indiana confirmed H5N1 HPAI. Subsequently, it was identified in various wild bird species. Hunters and wildlife biologists collaborated to monitor the disease, utilizing surveillance of hunter-harvested waterfowl and the DNR application for reporting sick and dead wildlife ( These efforts allowed the DNR to disseminate crucial health information.

Achievements through One Health

The One Health approach fostered collaboration, communication, and coordination between professionals and the public. This collective effort enhanced outbreak monitoring, restored food safety, safeguarded human health, and preserved biodiversity. By April 2023, Indiana achieved HPAI-free status in commercial facilities. However, vigilance among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts remains essential.

Hunter Participation in One Health

Hunters can actively engage in the One Health approach by:

  1. Reporting Sick or Dead Wildlife: Utilize for reporting, and avoid harvesting animals showing signs of illness.
  2. Safe Processing: Process wild game in well-ventilated areas, wear gloves, and practice hygiene before and after handling carcasses.
  3. Precautions during Processing: Refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and eye touching during processing.
  4. Proper Disposal: Double bag wildlife remains before disposal.
  5. Surveillance Participation: Contribute to wildlife disease surveillance efforts.
  6. Safe Cooking Practices: Ensure meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature.
  7. Healthy Pet Habits: Adopt healthy pet practices, including vaccination and waste cleanup.
  8. Environmental Stewardship: Remove litter and trash from public or private lands.

For additional information on One Health, visit the CDC's website at Ensure a collaborative effort in safeguarding the health of Indiana's wildlife, fostering a harmonious balance between human activities and the natural environment.

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