Up to 20% of global food production is lost due to animal diseases, while 60% of all human infectious diseases have their origin in animals, delegates heard at the animal health conference organised by the International Federation for Animal Health-Europe (IFAH-Europe).
The World Health Organisation identifies more than 200 zoonotic diseases – or diseases capable of passing from animals to humans.
‘Critical challenges ahead’
“It is very clear that to meet the critical challenges ahead – such as feeding a rapidly growing population – the animal health industry needs a more efficient medicines regulatory framework,” said Roxane Feller, IFAH-Europe secretary general.
“A better framework is needed to help stimulate innovation and increase product availability across all of Europe’s markets,” she added.
Legislation governing veterinary medicines and medicated feed in Europe is currently on the agenda of the European Parliament and the European Council.
‘Less complex licencing system’
“A less complex licencing system could significantly lower the administrative burden in bringing new innovative veterinary medicines to the market,” Feller told delegates.
Animal disease toll
- Up to 20% of global food production
- 60% of human infectious diseases have animal origins
“This will not only allow us to react rapidly to emerging disease situations but will also contribute to the sustainable supply of safe high quality and affordable food across Europe.”
Animal medicines were essential to help Europe’s farmers to maintain and restore high levels of health and welfare in animals, while facilitating the production of high-quality meat and animal derived products in an environmentally sustainable manner, said Feller.
Stock medicines were also said to play a vital role in helping the EU to maintain its position as the globe’s largest exporter of agrifood, with exports valued at €120bn in 2013.
Meanwhile, don’t miss our video interview with Feller capturing the conference highlights. The conference, ‘Healthy animals, healthy food, a healthy future’, took place in Brussels in June.