Background: Community animal health services in low-income countries aim to improve the health of animals and directly improve the wealth and health or livelihood of their owners. These services have been promoted by aid organizations since the 1970s.
Objectives: To summarize reliable research of community animal health services on indicators for household wealth and health.
Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register (July 2005), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2005, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1966 to July 2002), AGRIS (1975 to July 2005), Science Citation Index (2000 to July 2005), STN SIGLE database (1976 to 2002), and AGRICOLA (19 July 2005). We contacted relevant researchers and organizations, and also checked the reference lists of articles.
Selection criteria: Randomized controlled trials and controlled before-and-after studies comparing community animal health services with no community animal health services or with an alternative animal health service.
Data collection and analysis: We independently assessed studies for inclusion in the review.
Main results: No studies met the inclusion criteria.
Authors' conclusions: Well-designed randomized controlled trials or controlled before-and-after studies that use standard pragmatic outcomes are needed to evaluate the positive results reported by observational studies.