Secretary General's address to stakeholders: COVID-19
As you can imagine, AnimalhealthEurope is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic with a view to ensuring as far as possible that there are no shortages or problems with access to veterinary medicines and other animal health solutions across Europe.
Our teams are in regular contact with both our national associations and member companies to ensure we are kept abreast of this fast-developing situation. They are also in contact with EU and national competent authorities to ensure rapid updates on the status of veterinary medicines supplies.
We are pleased to confirm that the European Commission, in the updated guidelines for Green Lanes, has designated veterinary medicines as ‘essential goods’, so that we can continue to ensure access to medicines for livestock farmers, veterinarians and other animal owners. In a letter addressed to Commissioner Kyriakides, alongside national governments, AnimalhealthEurope further requested to:
- Ensure that Member States urgently notify the Commission of transport-related restrictions;
- Ensure that Member States apply the scientific knowledge that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted via imported goods, when setting measures so as to avoid disruption of supply.
AnimalhealthEurope also supports European veterinary associations calls for governments to recognise veterinary services as essential businesses.
CURRENT STATE OF PLAY:
- Our member companies report that there are currently no anticipated shortages of products.
- Our national associations report that none of their local companies have reported any supply or manufacturing issues at this time.
- The European animal health industry does not foresee supply interruptions at this moment.
- The transport situation remains uncertain. Border closures and delays may restrict movement of goods. We are already hearing of long delays at some border crossings, with waiting times ranging from half a day to several days
- The disease situation is constantly developing and outbreaks may stop or slow operations due to reduced workforce at any point in the manufacturing and supply chain. Of particular concern are key qualified personnel, who will be particularly safeguarded.
- There is still much uncertainty around future developments, related to supply and demand, to personnel availability in our manufacturing plants, sourcing of active ingredients for medicines, and our ability to continue full production. It is therefore extremely difficult for us to share any prediction on the continued supply of medicines beyond the short term.
Vets: We advise all veterinarians to take contact with company representatives to ascertain product availability should there be any issues, and to work with them to help identify any potential alternatives in the event of delayed supply.
Farmers: We advise livestock and aquaculture farmers to contact their veterinary surgeons if they have any concerns over the supply of any animal health products. Veterinarians will be able to advise whether their usual product is affected, and where this is the case, prescribe an appropriate alternative.
Other animal owners: We advise pet owners to heed notices from the World Organisation for Animal Health that there is no scientific evidence that companion animals play a role in the spread of COVID-19 to people. We urge all animal owners to ensure good care of their pets or assistance animals during this time, as they will likely be a solace during difficult times, and we advise to only contact veterinarians by phone or online with your queries, and they will advise of the best care needed.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.
AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General