Message from the Secretary General and President

As Secretary General and new President of AnimalhealthEurope (since June 2022) we invite you to browse through our annual report to learn more about our efforts to raise awareness on why animal health matters, and how our members are prioritising the development of innovative solutions to ensure holistic animal care and sustainable food systems during this time of geopolitical crisis and instability.

Our core focus: Application of the new EU rules on veterinary medicines)

Remaining at the forefront of our work throughout this past year, the January 2022 application of the new EU Regulations on Veterinary Medicines and Medicated Feed was a priority for us and our entire membership. It is safe to say both our national associations and company members have been fully occupied with implementing the various changes coming with the Regulations, and it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Despite the intended objective of reducing administrative burden for industry to ensure wider availability of medicines across Europe, significant delays and technical hiccups with the new databases and processes have so far created additional work. We hope to see the challenges resolved as we move forward into 2023.

Our priority focus areas: One Health

With One Health as one of our priority focus areas, we have been working this year to draw attention to the need for the great impetus created around the One Health concept to now be put into action. We were very pleased to have the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health Monique Eloit speak at our annual conference on the Quadripartite’s One Health Action Plan that was later published in October.

Created in 2021 in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to health emergencies, we joined the EU’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (HERA) Joint Industrial Cooperation Forum in 2022 to serve as the voice of the animal health industry. We were also pleased to see our request for a One Health stakeholder platform answered when we were invited to join the existing EU AMR One Health Network. These actions were complemented by the creation of a new One Health Directorate within the DG SANTE structure at the European Commission, a step in the right direction for concrete action.

Our priority focus areas: Sustainability

As ever, sustainability remains a priority focus with a raft of new policies coming from the EU institutions looking at the sustainability of our food systems amongst others. We joined the Commission’s newly created Advisory Group on Sustainability of Food Systems to promote the central role animal health plays in efficient and sustainable food production. To ensure better understanding of the importance of continued veterinary medicines availability, and their role in sustainable farming, we were also active in the Domestic Advisory Group on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement to ensure continued supply of animal health products both in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Our priority focus areas: Innovation

AnimalhealthEurope officially moved into the areas of in vitro diagnostics, digitalisation and Big Data in 2022, with the formation of dedicated working groups. Work in this area supports the general move over the past years to focusing on earlier detection of disease for more holistic animal health care.

Our work continued throughout 2022 within the Secretariat for the International Research Consortium on Animal Health, and some of our company members have been active in projects to respond to vaccine development requests, particularly for African Swine Fever. In-depth analysis of disease control tools gaps was published by our DISCONTOOLS project manager in the second half of the year with a call to focus on five research priorities for animal health over the next years to help deliver a sustainable and healthy planet. Priority areas for innovations are vaccinology, antimicrobial resistance, climate mitigation and adaptation, digital health, and epidemic preparedness.

A final word of thanks

None of what we have achieved this year would have been possible without the support of our members and also our partners in the Brussels sphere, our thanks is well-deserved. We’d also like to thank the EU decision-makers who have kindly taken part in our events, invited us to speak at important events, and generally remained open throughout the year for exchanges on animal health related topics. We cannot close without a word of thanks also to our AnimalhealthEurope secretariat for consistently acting as a strong voice for our industry and the animal carers we serve.