What a year! Looking back on what we have achieved in 2018, as Secretary General and as President of AnimalhealthEurope we can both agree that we are proud to be leading this newly-invigorated association with a real passion for animal health. In this annual report, we provide a snapshot of a number of key highlights from the past year.
We cannot let 2018 go past without a word to all those involved with finalising the new EU Regulations on veterinary medicines and medicated feed. As you will read later in this report, the full impact of the new regulation, and whether it has achieved its objectives, is still an open book, but thanks is due for the diligence in picking up the trilogue discussions with vigour and pushing through the legislative texts for agreement and final adoption this past autumn.
One thing which has been evident since we became AnimalhealthEurope just over a year ago, is that as an industry we are more united for a common cause. And it’s not just animal health, it truly is One Health. Looking back at our awareness-raising efforts this past year, or the events we organised and our speaking opportunities, even within our regulatory work, a more unified message is coming through in everything we communicate. If the animal medicines industry exists, it’s not just to ensure the health of our pets and farm animals, but also to contribute to food safety, to help farmers protect animal welfare and produce more sustainably, to protect people against diseases that can transfer from animals to people, and to mitigate where possible the impacts of livestock farming on the environment.
With much stronger messages and a refreshed visual identity our voice has been louder and clearer. Our presence as a key voice for animal health is now well-established. A united voice has also been forthcoming with many of our partner organisations through joint calls for increased uptake of pet vaccination with our veterinarian partners. And with our food chain partners, a demand for greater recognition of the many positive aspects that innovations in the food chain have on sustainable farming practices and sustainable development goals. Unity with our membership has also been strong this year as we worked with authorities at national level, and as we gathered input for our overview of actions taken by industry at national and company level under our antibiotic stewardship initiatives.
Looking at the increasingly important role that healthy animals play in our society today, we have been very pleased with the willingness of several key opinion leaders throughout these past months to share a common accord that animal health matters. From the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health Monique Eloit and the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, to MEPs Julie Girling, Karin Kadenbach and Sirpa Piëtikainen. These key voices joined with research scientists, farmers, veterinarians, assistance dog owners and animal lovers to strike a pose with our hashtag and share our message that #AnimalHealthMatters!
Sometimes when we look at our secretariat and all that they do throughout the year we are reminded of the busy, buzzing bees, always active to deliver up the best outcomes. Working together and continuously collaborating, the output both in terms of quantity and quality is outstanding. We look forward to this continued hard work and effort as we move through 2019.
As we move into an election period for the EU we take this opportunity to remind potential candidates and returning officials, that Europe is the birthplace of modern veterinary medicine and it is home to the world’s leading animal health companies. We have high hopes for Europe in terms of innovation and we have a multitude of ideas to contribute towards its future. We want to keep on playing our part in keeping Europe in a leading position when it comes to animal health, and we rely on a renewed Commission and Parliament to reinforce strong policies supporting investment in research and innovation.