World animal vaccination day highlights global disease risks

The first World Animal Vaccination Day, which is being held today, is being used to highlight the importance of vaccination as an “essential” route towards improving animal health, while also warning of the increased risk of diseases spreading around the world in step with expanding trade routes.

The day is backed by the global animal medicines association HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association and promoted by IFAH-Europe, who represent the European animal health industry.

“Vaccination for animals is not only essential for improved animal health but also for the protection of Europe’s citizens from diseases that can pass between animals and people and food-borne illnesses,” said IFAH-Europe.

“Animal disease outbreaks also have consequences on Europe’s agricultural economy. With today’s globalised trade activity and changes in climate, incidences of animal diseases not previously reported in Europe are increasing and it is essential that preventive action be taken.”

Arguing that one of the key preventive means is vaccination, IFAH-Europe’s secretary general, Roxane Feller, said her organisation “fully supports” the European Commission’s motto that prevention is better than cure.

She also welcomed World Animal Vaccination Day was an “excellent initiative” which would help to promote the importance of vaccination in animals.

HealthforAnimals is an organisation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in both developed and developing countries across five continents.

The World Veterinary Association represents around 500,000 veterinarians globally through its member associations and is recognised as the “trusted and influential voice of global veterinary medicine”.

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