Letter to the Spanish Presidency

Dear Members of the Spanish Presidency,
As AnimalhealthEurope – the association representing manufacturers of animal medicines, vaccines, and other animal health products – we would like to welcome the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU. We have taken note of your programme and would be happy to offer our network of expertise in case of any dossiers touching on animal health and related political matters. We strongly welcome the focus on innovation as a key contributor to addressing today’s challenges and we look to you to encourage high levels of innovation within a strong animal health sector in the EU.

Advances in animal health and today’s agri-technologies are central to the three priorities outlined in the sphere of health.
1) Vulnerable groups such as the lesser-abled, those with mental health issues or the elderly can be supported by creating greater access to the range of assistance and therapy animals existing in Europe. Thanks to advanced vaccines and parasite control products as well as other new therapies, companion animals today are living longer and healthier lives, able to assist and accompany those in need.
2) Fostering preparedness and response to new health threats can be supported by increased investment in preventative animal health action. Innovations in biosecurity measures, vaccination and vaccine banks, advanced diagnostics and digital monitoring tools, accompanied by surveillance and early warning systems are central to pre-empting health threats.
3) Aligning agendas with the One Health approach can be better supported by ensuring that animal health is not just an afterthought. With dedicated investment in enhancing the availability and uptake of animal health technologies we can ensure that all three pillars of ‘One Health’ are taken into account.

In the sphere of Agriculture we very much welcome your plan to promote the use of agri-food technologies. New animal health monitoring, detection and diagnostic technologies alongside advanced vaccine technologies not only support more sustainable agriculture, but they also support enhanced animal welfare, food security and farm profitability.
In the Environment sphere the above-mentioned technologies also support reduced emissions from agriculture. The animal health industry also shares public concern about the environmental impact of chemical substances and supports a supply chain that keeps any impacts on the environment as
low as possible.

With these points in mind, whilst we fully support strengthening the financial base of the European Medicines Agency, we ask that increases in fees remain proportionate for animal medicines to avoid further narrowing of company product portfolios, which would impact not only veterinary medicines’ availability today, but also future investment in further innovation. Also, to ensure the One Health approach in policymaking we would call on your support to ensure disproportionate penalties are not applied in the area of wastewater, and to ensure the EMA’s benefit-risk approach remains the deciding factor for authorisation for use of chemicals used in the manufacture of veterinary medicines in Europe.