Quarterly news, views and activities from the European animal health industry I 30th May 2006

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Dear reader,

IFAH-Europe has been busy with two key initiatives in recent months; the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of the ETPGAH and the IFAH-Europe conference “The Animal Health Industry – an essential partner for Global Health” taking place on 28 June 2023 in Brussels.

The SRA was very positively received by Commissioner Potočnik when presented to him on 19 May 2006, and IFAH-Europe and other ETPGAH members hope that this will help to advance the work of the platform further. The IFAH-Europe conference has secured a number of prestigious speakers and chairs, who will address key issues of interest to the animal health sector in what we hope will be an interesting and lively conference. I hope to see some of you there.

Best regards,

Declan O’Brien
IFAH-Europe Managing Director




ETPGAH presents strategic
research agenda to the Commission

The European Technology Platform for Global Animal Health (ETPGAH), a multi-stakeholder platform led by IFAH-Europe, presented its strategic research agenda (SRA) to DG Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik on 19 May 2006. The SRA is the result of a year of cooperation between experts representing the different ETPGAH stakeholders to identify the short, medium and long term research, development and delivery needs for global animal health over the next ten years.

The SRA is divided into six key themes:

1) Prioritising animal diseases – methodology to identify diseases of major socio-economic importance;
2) Conducting gap analyses for animal health - product availability, weakness of current products and research activity;
3) Ensuring high quality fundamental research;
4) Identifying enabling factors to improve technology transfer – quality assurance, intellectual property rights, mobility of scientists;
5) Regulatory issues – risk/benefit methodology, reducing/replacing animal testing, harmonisation between EU Member States;
6) Maintaining a global perspective.

The result of this initiative is a focus on the research themes that should receive public funding including the 7th Research Framework programme of the European Commission.

A special information meeting on the SRA for interested parties will take place on 31 May 2023 in Brussels. For more information, please e-mail [email protected] or call +32 2 543 7572.

For more information on the ETPGAH, please see


IFAH-Europe conference “The Animal Health Industry –
an essential partner for Global Health”, 28 June 2023

IFAH-Europe is organising a conference on innovation in the animal health industry, a one-day event taking place in the Crowne Plaza Brussels-Europa Hotel on 28 June 2006.

The conference will have four sessions as follows:

- Session 1: A successful history of innovation - a formula for future challenges looking at industry track record of innovation and growing global need for new medicines for animals.
- Session 2: The benefits of innovation in the Animal Health industry showing new breakthroughs in developing animal medicines and recent advances made by the European Technology Platform for Global Animal Health.
- Session 3: A new alliance for improving Animal Health examines new models of co-operation between industry and other stakeholders in the area of food and presents the EPRUMA initiative.
- Session 4: An improved regulatory framework for Animal Health innovation focuses on the European Commission’s initiative on animal health and steps to ensure a more efficient regulatory system to enhance innovation.

So far, confirmed speakers and session chairs include DG SANCO (Health & Consumer Protection) Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, IFAH President Pedro Lichtinger, Christianne Bruschke from the OIE, David Mackay Head of Unit for Veterinary Medicines at the EMEA, and Horst Schnellhardt MEP.

For up to date information on key issues of relevance to the animal health sector, do not miss this conference!

For more information see:


IFAH-Europe speaks at the EP Intergroup on Animal Welfare

IFAH-Europe’s Managing Director Declan O’Brien and Jan Vaarten, Executive Director of FVE (Federation of Veterinarians of Europe) were guest speakers at the 5 April 2023 meeting of European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals. The theme of the Intergroup’s meeting was “Combating avian influenza – beyond crisis management to a long-term strategy”.

Declan O’Brien spoke about avian influenza vaccination, explaining vaccine production and availability, different types of vaccines, the efficacy of vaccination and the implications of a vaccination strategy. Jan Vaarten’s presentation highlighted the nature of highly pathogenic avian influenza, the outbreaks so far experienced in Europe, and prevention and control of the disease.

The outcome of these presentations is a better understanding amongst key MEPs of avian influenza and the role of the animal health industry in tackling the disease.

To learn more about the Intergroup, please see:




EFSA AHAW panel opinion on migratory birds & avian influenza

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) adopted a scientific opinion on the role of migratory birds in spreading avian influenza on 12 May 2006. A risk assessment was undertaken to determine the likelihood of the Asian variant of H5N1 avian influenza being introduced into the EU by migratory birds and the subsequent possibility of the disease becoming endemic in wild birds and then infecting domestic poultry. The risk of the disease entering the EU and infecting wild birds varies according to the species of wild birds. The AHAW panel concluded that the likelihood of domestic poultry being infected was very low if strict biosecurity standards were respected.

The opinion can be found at:


Interim report on DG SANCO CAHP published

The consortium responsible for the evaluation of the Community Animal Health Policy (CAHP) has released an interim report. The evaluation of the CAHP took the form of a questionnaire that was publicly available. Many stakeholders including IFAH-Europe responded to this evaluation. The interim report mainly explains how the survey was carried out and who responded. In addition, there is a special report on cost-sharing schemes for livestock epidemics.

A number of problems are identified including: disproportionate emphasis on emergency/crisis actions rather than prevention; and persistence of significant diseases (e.g. TB) despite eradication programmes. The interim report makes a number of preliminary “suggestions for the future” which include: aligning EU legislation with OIE recommendations; supporting on-farm biosecurity measures; and reinforcing support to third countries.

In its response to the CAHP consultation, IFAH-Europe mentioned the need for a long term strategy for disease control and the role that the Technology Platform can play in focusing research in priority areas.

To see the interim report, please go to:

In addition, a conference on the CAHP strategy will take place in Brussels on 7 November 2023 as a joint Austrian-Finnish EU Presidency event. For a copy of the draft agenda of this conference, please see:


Animal Welfare Conference – 30 March, 2006

The Austrian Presidency conference on animal welfare linked into overall food chain policy and provided an opportunity for the Commission to present its Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals (published in January 2006). A wide range of food chain speakers made presentations. Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio of DG SANCO presented the Action Plan, which speaks about minimum welfare standards, alternatives to animal testing, animal welfare indicators, better information for animal handlers and the public, and the need to support international initiatives. It was interesting and reassuring to hear DG SANCO appreciate the need to set standards that are relevant to the animal and conscious of the need to avoid unnecessary costs, an approach that IFAH-Europe supports.




UK Animal Health association highlights “Pet power”

The National Office for Animal Health (NOAH), the UK animal health association recently organised an event in the UK Parliament with the theme “Animals are good for us - be good to them”. The event, hosted by the chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) Eric Martlew MP, highlighted “Pet Power” and in particular the vital role that assistance animals (guide dogs, hearing dogs etc) play in transforming the lives of many individuals.

A number of assistance animals and their owners made the trip to Westminster on May 3rd, when they met Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the House of Lords (Peers) at a reception held in the House of Commons. Examples of the assistance animals who attended the event - and the press call that preceded it - included a pony who works with disabled children and a dog who can alerts its diabetic owner when her blood sugar is too high or too low.

Chief Executive of NOAH Phil Sketchley was delighted with the response. “Politicians from all parties recognise the human and financial benefits that working and relaxing with animals can bring to people. Millions of animals across the country play a part in improving the quality of human life. It is our duty to ensure that we repay the debt we owe them by providing them with proper care in the form of good preventive healthcare and regular vaccination.”

NOAH Press release:




Germany pledges €60 million for zoonotic research

The German Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Education have jointly developed an initiative to promote research into zoonoses and increase cooperation in the field of zoonotic research. The initiative will make €60 million euros available over the next four years to support existing research programmes in zoonoses, build links between human and veterinary medicine researchers and finance a new government led project on avian influenza.

Source: Animal Pharm, 14 April 2023



  • 31 May 2006, ETPGAH Special Information Meeting on the SRA, Brussels, Belgium
  • 1-2 June 2006, Health Council, Luxembourg
  • 16-18 June 2006, 12th International Congress on infectious diseases, Centro de Congressos de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 25-30 June 2006, 4th International Veterinary Vaccines and Diagnostics Conference, University of Oslo, Norway
  • 28 June 2006, IFAH-Europe Conference “The Animal Health Industry – an essential partner for Global Health”, Crowne Plaza Brussels-Europa, Belgium