Supporting sustainable agriculture
Thanks to the use of animal medicines Europe has been successful in preventing and managing animal diseases such as bluetongue, bovine mastitis, circovirus, and foot-and-mouth disease, which just years ago posed serious threats to animal health, food safety and public health.
The OIE estimates that global production of food is reduced by 20% due to diseases in farmed animals. This is probably slightly lower in Europe, but innovations in animal medicines can help to improve animal health and welfare, address production losses and ensure optimal use of natural resource input and less waste output, minimising the impact of livestock production on the environment.
Advances in animal breeding and nutrition, along with the increased responsible use of animal health products, including antibiotics, have helped to transform livestock agriculture and food production over the past 50 years. According to Jacques Viaene of the University of Ghent, if we did not have animal medicines, we would need 89% more cattle to produce the same amount of milk and beef. By improving animal health and welfare, cutting mortality rates, and reducing losses due to disease, our products have contributed to significant increases in productivity while contributing to sustainable farming practices.
And this is all the more important as a balanced diet rich in both animal and plant sourced foods offers many health benefits!
- Infographic: Animal health & the Sustainable Development Goals Download