MEPs discuss the future for the health of Europe’s animals

Following the final sign-off of the new EU legislation for veterinary medicines and medicated feed, EU officials met with AnimalhealthEurope and interested stakeholders at the European Parliament. AnimalhealthEurope used the occasion to launch a political manifesto for the 2019 elections and the incoming MEPs and Commission officials, highlighting 6 concrete action points for protecting animal health, to be considered for priority programmes over the next 5 years.

Host MEP Fredrick Federley opened the event stating, “Just because the Parliament has adopted legislation and resolutions on animal welfare and health within this mandate, it does not mean that our job is done. On the contrary, this is when the real work begins. We need a constant reminder that animal health is interlinked with human health, and that it is in everybody’s interest that we aim for high targets and thorough implementation of our Union legislation. These discussions serve as a reminder, not of the good work we’ve done, but what we have left to do.”

Picking up on the link between animal health and animal welfare, MEP Herbert Dorfmann, rapporteur of the European Parliament’s own initiative report on the future of food and farming, said, “With the new EU veterinary medicine legislation we are strengthening the EU’s action towards healthier animals and therefore towards more animal welfare.”

The roundtable included interjections from the newly-appointed Director General for DG Health and Food Safety, Anne Bucher on EU actions to encourage innovation to improve the availability of animal health tools to prevent and treat emerging and infectious animal diseases. Speaking on behalf of vets in Europe, Jan Vaarten (FVE) drew attention to the veterinarian’s toolbox of today and tomorrow, talking about the tools needed by Europe’s vets to prevent and treat animal diseases.

AnimalhealthEurope’s Secretary General Roxane Feller talked about the diseases affecting animals in Europe and of the large spectrum of solutions made available by the industry to manage, treat or prevent these illnesses. Issuing a plea to decision-makers as they move forward with the implementing measures for the new legislation and any future policies affecting animal health, Roxane Feller said, “It is our objective, as an innovative industry, to keep the veterinarian’s toolbox well-stocked with a wide range of solutions to keep Europe’s animals in optimal health. We work tirelessly to get our latest innovations to market, as rapidly as authorisation procedures allow. To ensure a healthy future for Europe’s animals, for Europe’s people and for our industry, we would ask EU officials here today to ensure that each and every decision taken as regards the bringing to market of innovative animal health solutions is both science-based and risk-based.”

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