There are a range of social and economic implications of disease in plants and animals. Some of the main ones are outlined in the points below. Usually, the extent of these problems will depend upon how severe and widespread the disease is. It can also be dependent upon how important the animals or plants are to humans, or where they are positioned in the natural food chain.
- Effects on crop farmers
- Food shortages
- Health effects
In a minority of cases, animal diseases have been known to adapt to effect humans. For instance, this phenomenon has been seen in the recent outbreak of swine flu, and the foot and mouth disease in cattle a few years ago. Potentially, these diseases could turn out to be both dangerous and contagious, and could even lead to a pandemic crisis. Many people could lose their lives or be affected by the outbreak.