The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new conversation among scientists, policy makers, politicians and the public. It has also emphasised the role of science and innovation in addressing global challenges. The COVID-19 response has seen innovation in vaccine technology, rapid diagnostics and new means of preventing disease transmission, including interventions, legislation and human behaviour. Success has been a result of an integrated, multidisciplinary, and funded approach, focussed on populations of people. Infectious disease has been a major focus of livestock scientists over many decades and longer, and novel vaccines, diagnostic testing and disease control programmes, including nutrition, management and breeding have been successfully developed and applied to herds, flocks and populations of animals. This has underpinned much success in preventing, reducing and controlling disease which has resulted in i) improved animal health and welfare, ii) better biological efficiency and reduced waste, thus contributing to Net Zero initiatives, and iii) food security while maximising sustainable agriculture globally-a "win-win-win" for livestock science. Scientific evidence for many approaches to controlling disease is currently available and the focus must now be on knowledge exchange and uptake of existing technologies, essential for impact globally. There is however, the need for much more to be done-reducing the risk of emerging, zoonotic, and food-borne pathogens, developing alternatives to anti-microbial drugs and chemicals, and preventing disease in both intensive and extensive farming systems of the future, in both developed and developing countries. Animal scientists have a key role in providing new research outputs across many disciplines, not only for the scientific community itself, but to provide evidence for policy makers, politicians and society generally. This will be essential if we are to continue to improve the lives of animals while also increasing understanding of the role of animals in human and planetary health. All rights reserved, Elsevier.