AnimalhealthEurope welcomes Council Conclusions on EU Farm to Fork strategy

19/10/2020

AnimalhealthEurope welcomes numerous mentions in today’s Council conclusions that underline the importance of animal health and its key role in the implementation of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. The animal health industry in Europe also appreciates the support of Member States, also calling for thorough impact assessments.

Speaking on behalf of the industry, Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General said, “We welcome in particular the emphasis placed by Member States that animal health and welfare are a precondition for sustainable livestock production, and that animal health is a precondition for reducing the need to use antimicrobials. We support acknowledgements that research and innovation are included in the means for achieving sustainable food systems and appreciate mentions to promote effective Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS), involving all food chain actors and relevant stakeholders”.

“We also fully support calls for the continued promotion of responsible use of antimicrobials in order to preserve their efficacy for the treatment of infections in both humans and animals, building on the substantial efforts made in our sector. For targets, such as the 50% reduction for sales of antimicrobials to be met without any detriment to both the health and welfare of animals and the viability of farming in Europe’s varied agricultural systems, it is important that the European Commission conduct comprehensive impact assessments of the various targets for EU agriculture set out in the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategies before further political or regulatory decisions are taken, including on how starting points and progress on these targets will be set and measured. Targets should be coherent and consistent across the European Green Deal initiatives, but also realistic and achievable. Targets should be based on the latest advancements, and tried and tested existing success stories, and should take both regional and species differences into account,” she concluded.