A viable future for livestock

Europe is the world’s largest trader in agri-foods. Any impact on Europe’s farms that affects food production or movement of foodstuffs – as many infectious diseases do – can have dramatic impacts not only on animal welfare, but also on farming economies, on exports, and on the future viability of farms. Therefore effective policies to support Europe’s livestock sector are important.

European agriculture is striving to meet with EU Farm to Fork and UN Sustainable Development goals for more sustainable production methods while facing the enormous challenge of adapting to increased climate variability and more extreme weather. Along with this, farmers are having to deal with the impacts of new animal disease outbreaks with milder climates seeing a wider geographical expansion of vector-borne disease and more humid environments escalating the spread of disease.

When it comes to animal health, it is essential that both the political and business environment are conducive to innovation, with a framework that allows for resources to be invested in more R&D. By facilitating the uptake of modern technologies and streamlining current authorisation processes, new medicines may be developed and existing medicines may be improved to fill the gaps in disease prevention for animals and treatment solutions that do not exist at present or are not available in certain countries. More efficient procedures to authorise medicines in exceptional situations, can also allow for greater preparedness in the case of new or recurring disease outbreaks.