To borrow a line from MEP Esther de Lange as the European Commission published the new European Green Deal: "We don’t own this planet; we’re guarding it for the next generations to come. We have a moral duty to protect it."
The new deal announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 11 December sets the scene for a number of EU policies to be published in 2020, one of which is the Farm to Fork Strategy, to be tabled in Spring which is said to include plans to significantly reduce the use of antibiotics, amongst others. But we ask, why not develop that thought in a more proactive and sustainable way?
The animal health industry believes that Europe must aim for true sustainability at a pace which will engage all Europeans raising, protecting and caring for the many animals providing us with companionship and assistance, or food and other products. By investing in research and development for a wide range of solutions to protect Europe’s animals and ensure optimal health, we can switch the goal to 'reducing the need to treat disease' through deployment of the full range of tools available, such as vaccines, diagnostics, digital monitoring, etc. This is our contribution to guarding this planet, and safeguarding both its animal and human populations, for the next generations to come.
Our contribution to the European Green Deal
The animal health industry takes note of the ambitious goals in the Green Deal and is ready to rise to the challenge. For many years now our sector has not only been talking about addressing the issues affecting our food system; We’ve been actively developing new solutions to support more sustainable livestock farming, assessing the environmental impact of our products, promoting better welfare for the many animals in Europe, and promoting a full use of our toolbox to ensure the Responsible Use of all medicines in animals.
AnimalhealthEurope now looks forward to the release of the Commission’s Farm to Fork strategy, expected in Spring 2020.
Reducing the need for antibiotics in animals
In a sector-wide strategy to address antibiotic resistance by first reducing the occasions on which antibiotics are needed for livestock and pets, AnimalhealthEurope members have joined a multi-billion euro pledge to support the development of vaccines, diagnostics and other measures to protect animals from disease.
The pledge for 25 Global Actions by 2025 is part of a global Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics initiated by HealthforAnimals, which sets out three approaches to reduce the need for antibiotic use in animals: disease prevention and control; earlier detection of illness; and fast, accurate treatment. (View HealthforAnimals Roadmap)
Flash Action for Europe to #MeattheFacts
On the first day of the EU Agri Outlook Conference, representatives from the European livestock sector gathered in front of the European Commission buildings in Brussels to address the dangers of oversimplifying the debate around livestock and its role in European society.
Input industries and sector professionals in the livestock food chain are united in raising awareness throughout Europe with initiatives to remind our EU decision-makers that the debate on sustainable livestock production is far from simple. >> Missed the action? Watch here
Role of Vaccines in Tackling Animal Disease
In an event hosted by new MEPs Martin Hlavácek and Simone Schmiedtbauer, EU officials met with AnimalhealthEurope and interested stakeholders to discuss the critical role of vaccines in preventing animal diseases in Europe
The key takeaway was: To address future challenges we need to develop new vaccines and we require responsible use of antibiotics. More resources are needed for research into further ways to protect animal health in the future while addressing AMR, as well as to redress misinformed societal perceptions with appropriate communication.