The welfare of animals is important to society. And their good health is a prerequisite for maintaining their welfare.
AnimalhealthEurope members play a key role in providing the treatments and vaccines for ensuring that health, while the association is an active member of the new EU platform for Animal Welfare. The platform brings together Member States, EU bodies and organisations to encourage dialogue and debate on relevant animal welfare issues.
Animal welfare and disease
Our concern for animal welfare includes farm animals and pets. Like with people, animals can sometimes get sick and and may require treatment. Ill-health can be the result of a complex combination of factors. Some are intrinsic, such as genetic make-up; some are external, such as living conditions and food; some are environmental, including weather or the presence of air or water-borne diseases. In the instance of disease occurrence it is important to seek veterinary care so that the appropriate treatment can be advised to avoid animal suffering.
Animal welfare and sustainable farming
Farm animals help to meet many of society’s basic needs. They provide food, in the form of milk, eggs and meat as well as wool for clothing. In return, society has a duty of care towards these animals, making sure they are fed, happy and healthy. Increasingly, consumers wish to know that the food they consume has come from animals that have enjoyed a healthy life and therefore a high standard of animal welfare. The higher the standards of animal welfare, the greater the trust consumers can have in the products.
Animal health, a prerequisite for animal welfare
Animal medicines play an important role in maintaining high standards of animal welfare. Vaccines and parasiticides provide the means to prevent disease spreading amongst livestock, but also among pets. Where bacterial infections break out, antibiotics can help to control them. So although the right conditions can help minimise the risk of disease, they can never prevent it completely. This is why animal welfare requires good animal husbandry, responsible pet ownership and access to effective treatments.
AnimalhealthEurope also supports the internationally recognised principles of animal welfare known as the ‘Five Freedoms’.
These state that animals should be:
free from hunger and thirst;
free from discomfort;
free from pain, injury and disease;
free to express normal behaviour;
free from fear and distress.