Thanks to the use of animal medicines Europe has been successful in preventing and managing animal diseases such as bluetongue, bovine mastitis, circovirus, foot-and-mouth disease, and salmonella, which just years ago posed serious threats to animal health, food safety and public health.
The OIE estimates that global production of food is reduced by 20% due to diseases in farmed animals. This is probably slightly lower in Europe, but innovations in animal health can help address production losses and ensure optimal use of natural resource input and less waste output.
Advances in livestock breeding and nutrition, along with the increased use of animal health products have helped to transform livestock agriculture and food production over the past 50 years. According to Jacques Viaene of the University of Ghent, if we did not have animal medicines, we would need 89% more cattle to produce the same amount of milk and beef. By cutting mortality rates and reducing losses from disease, our products have contributed to significant increases in productivity.
Animal medicines play a key role in sustainable food production, by enabling European farmers to: