Veterinary medicines ‘have a positive impact on the welfare of farm animals’

survey carried out across the UK and seven other European countries asked people found increased recognition of awareness of the benefits of medicines for the health and welfare of pets and farm animals, and of their role in helping farmers produce food more sustainably.

The survey, commissioned by NOAH’s European animal health association AnimalhealthEurope, found that the majority (73%) believed veterinary medicines have a positive impact on the welfare of farm animals. Three quarters (76%) reported believing the vaccination of farm animals helps to prevent diseases being transferred to people, with 79% of those in the UK agreeing farm animals should be vaccinated regularly.

The survey also found that some people were not aware, however, of the strict rules already governing the authorisation and use of veterinary medicines. There were some areas where knowledge on the rules and regulations on the use of veterinary medicines was limited.

For example, more than half (55%) were unaware that use of hormones as growth promoters in farming has been banned in the UK since the 1980s, with 61% not aware that antibiotics have been similarly banned for growth promotion purposes since 2006.

NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard said they were ‘delighted’ to see great support for UK farmers and vets in this survey: “We are also encouraged by the recognition of the positive contribution of veterinary medicines to our lives, and the role healthy animals play in sustainable UK farming. Prevention is truly better than cure and this year in particular has shown the importance of vaccination.

“Where misunderstandings and concerns do exist, such as around the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals, we will continue to help address these and help explain the strict regulations that govern the authorisation of all animal medicines and the work we all do to support their responsible use.”

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