Healthy animals, safe food

Healthy animals provide elements of a nutritious diet: milk, meat, eggs, fish and honey.

Food supply and quality has never been more important than it is today, and it’s good that people are taking an interest in food production. Consumers are increasingly interested in having information on the provenance and quality of their food, and food safety remains a keen point of interest. We know that preventing disease in animals means healthier farm animals as well as higher quality and safe meat, fish, eggs and dairy produce.

Animal health services and products for livestock and fish help farmers to manage and improve the health and welfare of their animals. Our solutions also contribute to the quality of the animal-sourced products. Sick or suffering animals not only raise welfare issues for the farmer, but the meat, milk or eggs they produce cannot be sold, creating food waste directly at the animal source.

Animal vaccines and other treatments such as parasiticides, not only maintain high standards of animal health and welfare, but they also help to protect consumers from harmful food-borne pathogens or zoonotic agents that can come from farm animals. In some cases, it is not safe to eat food from animals that are sick, as there could be a risk that disease could be passed to people, making them ill in turn.

Over the years, the animal health industry has provided the means to support Europe in successfully preventing and managing many food-borne illnesses. Just years ago diseases like salmonellosis posed serious threats not only to the animals themselves, but to food safety and public health, indeed the early 2000s saw a 50% reduction in salmonella cases in people thanks to vaccine use in chickens. Food-borne illnesses still exist and there is room for further improvement both in animal health and in raising awareness on hygiene, preparation and storage recommendations for consumers. Nevertheless, today European citizens benefit from the highest food safety standards in the world.

 

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More info

  • EFSA: food borne zoonotic diseases Read more
  • European Commission: food safety - animal health Read more