In this issue
Message from the Managing Director
News from IFAH-Europe
Animal Health News
Latest EU News & Developments
Calendar of Events
Message from the Managing Director

Dear Reader,

Since our last issue, Influenza A H1N1 has suddenly appeared. We now face the global spread of this virus with the WHO being very concerned about its impact. The emergence of this virus demonstrates once again how rapidly the disease environment can change. Most importantly, it highlights the need to be prepared for the unexpected and to have the capacity to respond. In the animal health world, the ETPGAH is a stakeholder driven initiative which includes looking to future disease scenarios within its remit. The Commission is currently reviewing vaccine bank needs in terms of having the capacity to respond to future disease scenarios. It is impossible to predict the future but the arrival of Influenza A H1N1 highlights the need to invest in capacity that hopefully will never be needed.

Connecting with our last issue of Perspectives, we continue our journey towards regulatory reform. You may read about our conference in this newsletter and access more details via our new look website. With the new Parliament in place, we will continue our communications effort to pave the way for a system that is highly efficient bringing benefits in terms of animal health and welfare via improved medicines availability.

Please take the opportunity to subscribe to our RSS feed and join our mailing list to remain informed.

Finally, a timely reminder. If you are taking your companion animals on holidays with you, please remember to consult your veterinarian and ensure that their health is protected. A healthy pet is happy pet!

Kind Regards,

Declan O’Brien
Managing Director

News from IFAH-Europe

IFAH-Europe annual conference 2009 calls for a true European single market for veterinary medicines

Rolf Eriksson, Swedish State Secretary for Agriculture, Avril Doyle, MEP, and Philip Tod, speaking on behalf of Europe’s Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou were among the speakers at IFAH-Europe’s annual conference on 25 June discussing the upcoming regulatory review. This review will reshape the legislative framework of veterinary medicines in the EU for the years to come and is to be undertaken by the new European Commission in 2010.

The IFAH-Europe conference was a unique opportunity to gather all stakeholders involved in animal health for a constructive debate. All acknowledged the need for the prevention of the occurrence of animal diseases and the reduction of their impact, as well as the ongoing work towards simplifying the legislative framework for veterinary medicines.

Rolf Eriksson, Swedish Secretary of State for Agriculture, underlined the importance of preventive healthcare and improved biosecurity, while acknowledging that pharmaceuticals can be of great value to prevent diseases from spreading and a tool for eradication.

Declan O’Brien, IFAH-Europe’s Managing Director stated: “Our annual conference was a key event in developing consensus on ideas for the future review of the legislation on the authorisation of veterinary medicines foreseen in 2010, bringing together all stakeholders in the sector and players along the food chain. IFAH-Europe will continue the open dialogue with these partners so as to agree proposals in 2010 for streamlining the Animal Health legislation.”

View the programme and presentations on the events pages of the IFAH-Europe website.

1-1-1 = better availability of medicines
IFAH-Europe does some maths for the 2010 regulatory review

The European Commission acknowledged the need to replace the current complex legal structure surrounding veterinary medicines by a simpler framework. This was one of the points addressed at the opening of the IFAH-Europe annual conference 2009 by European Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou’s representative.

IFAH-Europe put forward what it calls its “1-1-1” concept: ensuring veterinary medicines’ availability through a single European market. The 1-1-1 concept highlights the benefits of quality, safety and efficacy through one single EU dossier as the basis for granting marketing authorisation for veterinary medicinal products, with one single assessment of the dossier employing the best expertise available, resulting in one decision for marketing authorisation.

IFAH-Europe called for one vision, one final step to one market at its annual conference

“This concept appears to be the most simple and straightforward way to address all of the major deficiencies of the current system and to finally achieve the goal of a single market for safe and efficacious veterinary medicines”, explains Neil Craven (Pfizer Animal Health) from the IFAH-Europe technical and regulatory committee.

MEP Avril Doyle, who has been a passionate champion for the animal health cause in the European Parliament supported the need for an efficient regulatory framework at the IFAH-Europe annual conference: “The EU has a responsibility to ensure that its legislation is not a disincentive to bringing to the market high quality veterinary medicines which are critical to protect both animal health and welfare, and public health through the food chain”.

MEP Avril Doyle at the 2009 IFAH-Europe conference

Animal Health News

H1N1: no increase of swine influenza among pigs

While the world is facing a pandemic of human H1N1, IFAH-Europe wanted to emphasise the following:

  • The current outbreak of the human disease, first reported in Mexico, is caused by a reassorted influenza A virus, type H1N1, now known as the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.
  • This virus is different from swine influenza viruses found in pigs, and it also contains genes from avian and human influenza viruses (http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm ).
  • The current strain of this Influenza A (H1N1) virus is transmitted from person to person. There are no food-safety issues related to this Influenza A (H1N1) virus.
  • It cannot be passed to humans through food, by eating properly cooked pork or pork products.
  • In general, the influenza virus A is killed by cooking meat at temperatures of 160°F/70°C, by proper hygiene measures and by common disinfectants.

IFAH-Europe published a statement on swine influenza in pigs and a Q&A on swine influenza:

For further information on human health issues related to the Influenza A (H1N1) virus please check out the following websites:

  • ECDC – European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 
  • US CDC – Centres for Disease Control (USA)


Latest EU News & Developments

Promoting Sustainability in the EU Food Chain:
IFAH-Europe co-founds the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table

On 6 May 2009, leading representatives from the European food chain together with the European Commission joined hands to launch the European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Round Table.

The Round Table will be co-chaired by the European Commission and representatives of the European food chain. Its objectives are to establish, by 2011, scientifically reliable and uniform environmental assessment methodologies for food and drink products and to identify suitable means of voluntary communication to consumers. It will also promote and report on continuous improvement initiatives along the whole food chain.

IFAH-Europe is proud to be part of this initiative and fully committed to contributing to the sustainability of the food chain through healthy food-producing animals. “There is only one planet. We must use our resources wisely, also for the sake of consumers and businesses. It is imperative to develop sound methodologies to fight consumer confusion.”

The founding participants in the European Food SCP Round Table are:
- CELCAA - European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri‐Food Trade
- CIAA - Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries in the EU
- COPA‐COGECA - European Farmers and European Agri‐cooperatives
- EFMA - European Fertilizer Manufacturers Association
- EURO COOP - European Community of Consumer Cooperatives
- EUROPEN - European Organization for Packaging and the Environment
- FEFAC - European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation
- IFAH-Europe - International Federation for Animal Health – Europe
- PRO EUROPE - Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe

Supportive organisations include EEA - European Environment Agency and UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme. See the full press release regarding this launch.

Alternative approaches to animal testing: 2009, year of dissemination

IFAH-Europe is a member of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA), supporting the 3Rs to “refine, reduce and replace” animal testing by validated alternative testing methods. Completing 4 years of existence, the EPAA platform has declared 2009 the year of dissemination of 3Rs-related information and will dedicate its next Annual Conference to take place on 6 November 2023 in Brussels to this issue.

In addition to reporting EPAA’s progress and achievements during the year, presentations and expert-panel discussions will address inter alia:

  • The role that dissemination plays or should play in advancing research into 3Rs, sharing good practice, enhancing (international) regulatory acceptance and improving uptake of 3Rs techniques,
  • Information needs and information gaps;
  • The most efficient dissemination mechanisms.

A programme will soon be available from the EPAA website.

Calendar of Events