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Message from our Secretary General

In early 2015, I was very happy to be appointed as the new Secretary General of the International Federation for Animal Health – Europe. To join the federation at such a crucial time, when the EU is in the middle of revising the sector’s governing Regulation, has been a challenging yet also very rewarding experience. In this annual report, we provide an overview of a few key highlights from the past year.

Animal health was at the forefront of EU policy-making in 2015. Not only did the EU formally adopt its long-awaited new framework legislation on Transmissible Animal Diseases, the European Parliament also began its first reading of the proposals for new Regulations on both Veterinary Medicinal Products and Medicated Feed. As a result, it has been a very busy year for our industry, where we sought to build on our strengths of joint collaboration and knowledge-sharing amongst association and company members, as well as with our fellow stakeholders.

Innovation through a more streamlined Regulation on Veterinary Medicines
IFAH-Europe strives towards securing an innovative and competitive market place of widely accessible, safe and effective quality veterinary medicines. With the complexities of the current system, there is an inordinately high administrative burden for veterinary medicines which has contributed to a 20% drop in the innovation rate. Through various meetings and exchanges with the institutions in 2015, we have been calling for a reduction in the administrative burden to increase the availability of medicines - especially for minor species and smaller countries – and for extended data protection periods to incentivise those involved in the research and development of new medicines to treat and prevent animal disease.

Valuing all treatment options for sick animals through harmonised rules for medicated feed
We were happy to see a move towards more harmonised rules for medicated feed across the EU in 2015. IFAH-Europe agrees that unjustified preventive treatment with antibiotics is unacceptable. Allowing for veterinarians to treat sick animals through the use of approved medicines in feed - an important and sometimes optimal administration route – offers an additional and practical method of ensuring the continuous healthcare of Europe’s animals and a safe and sustainable food production.

Ensuring Responsible Use of medicines in animals to combat antimicrobial resistance
Alongside all the work on the legislative review, as you will see later in the report, 2015 was very much a key year for highlighting the industry’s efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Promoting Responsible Use of our products coupled with both monitoring of their use and monitoring of the resistance development were our key priorities, together with encouraging innovation towards new solutions and ensuring a One Health approach to policies developed on this matter.

Facing new challenges head on
Our secretariat has of course been busy throughout the year monitoring the various issues impacting the veterinary medicines sector and looks forward in 2016 to further developing and implementing strategies in areas such as pharmaceuticals in the environment, animal welfare and innovation.

Looking forward
IFAH-Europe has a rich history of close dialogue with regulators and stakeholders, and possesses an authoritative voice in animal and veterinary science, research and regulatory compliance. In 2016, we will continue to make our voice heard and strive towards fostering a legislative and regulatory environment that not only encourages, but also enhances, the development of new and innovative veterinary medicines.

Roxane Feller, Secretary General

IFAH-Europe represents companies that research, develop and manufacture veterinary medicines in Europe.
For more information please see our website and leaflet

Facts & figures

The animal health industry is a highly regulated, science-driven sector focused on the provision of products that preserve the health and welfare of animals, protect human health and help to ensure the provision of safe, affordable and high quality food.

IFAH-Europe member companies invest over

€500 million in research and development every year

Our industry provides around

50,000 full time jobs in Europe

Total European sales amounted to over

€5 billion


Learn more

One Health:
Where our industry makes a difference

Humanity faces many challenges that require global solutions. Solving today’s issues and preparing for those arising tomorrow cannot be accomplished with yesterday's approaches. We are living in a time of ‘One World, One Health’ and we must devise innovative, forward-looking and multisectoral solutions to the challenges we face now and in the future.

The increasingly crowded nature of our planet – on which man and animals live in increasingly close proximity – has enhanced the ability of zoonotic diseases to jump between species. With today’s evolving ecosystems, trade globalisation, increasing urbanisation and an ever-expanding population, these diseases can spread as never before. This is why the concept of ‘One Health’ was started to highlight the need for a joint approach to tackling health-related issues.

Disease outbreaks such as Ebola, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and avian influenza have served as a key reminder that human and animal health are intimately connected. In fact, of the nearly 1,500 infectious diseases known to affect people, almost two thirds can pass between animals and people (zoonotic diseases).

We play a key role in disease prevention and control

Innovation in preventive veterinary medicines, the widespread use of vaccines and the development of vaccine banks play an increasingly important role in combatting infectious diseases on a global level. Ectoparasiticides also play an important role in helping to control the insects (such as ticks, mosquitoes, etc.) that spread some of these diseases. Like the millions of animals they benefit however, the role played by veterinary medicines in society is often overlooked, yet their impact over the years has been truly revolutionary.

Our solutions in action

From a public health and food safety perspective, the use of vaccines in poultry to protect against salmonella along with other management measures saw human cases reduced by almost 50% in the EU since 2004 with the prevalence of salmonella in poultry decreasing significantly at the same time. From a food security perspective, vaccines against circovirus in pigs have seen a dramatic reduction in deaths and antibiotics for the treatment of mastitis have ensured better welfare for dairy cows and a more efficient production of high quality milk. From a social perspective, families can enjoy close contact with pets who live longer, healthier lives thanks to a wide range of veterinary medicines. And from a financial perspective, highly effective parasite controls have also helped farmers to combat the huge economic losses that can be caused by worm infections and helped the processing industry to reduce the cost of rejects, unacceptable for human consumption. All these solutions are contributing to a more sustainable food production.

Innovation and cooperative approach essential for One Health

A cooperative approach to further innovation in animal and public health is necessary. Hand-in-hand with consumer acceptance of new technologies, it is also essential to foster a harmonised and predictable regulatory framework in which innovation should be a key focus. With added challenges such as the development of antibiotic resistance or the spread of zoonotic diseases, it is clear that only by working together as one — locally, nationally, and globally — can we hope to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

The One Health concept has been operative in animal health innovations for decades, but there is a clear need for further understanding and appreciation for the concept amongst the medical profession and the general public. We are pleased to see increasing collaboration between the WHO, OIE and FAO to identify high priority issues in the One Health arena and IFAH-Europe lends its full support to these efforts. With ever more people working in either the animal or public health sectors adopting a One Health mindset, there is greater opportunity to address challenges occurring at the interface between humans, animals and ecosystems, to facilitate the adoption of new technologies for animal and human disease and to communicate on the contributions of the animal health sector.

Year at a glance 2015

  • New Secretary General for IFAH-Europe

    24 February
    Roxane Feller – former Director of the Economic Department in FoodDrinkEurope - takes up the position of Secretary General for IFAH-Europe. Read more

  • European Pet Night

    25 February
    Hosted by MEPs Julie Girling and Norbert Lins, the event celebrated the benefits of companion animals. 12-year old Gemma spoke about life with diabetes and her medical alert assistance dog, Polo. Read more

  • EMA/IFAH-Europe Info day

    12 - 13 March
    Hosted in the EMA’s new headquarters in London, participants reviewed the latest developments in scientific review, marketing authorisation procedures and legislation. Read more

  • Infographic: Veterinary medicines vs. human medicines

    30 March
    Outlining some of the differences between the veterinary medicine and the human medicine sectors, the infographic highlights some of the processes involved with developing and marketing veterinary medicines and how having the same regulatory processes can impact product development. View the infographic

  • Healthy animals, healthy food, a healthy future

    11 June
    Stakeholders met to discuss the animal health industry’s contribution to a sustainable agricultural production in the future at the IFAH-Europe conference in Brussels with Head of Cabinet for European Commissioner Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis as keynote speaker. Read more

  • New chairman for IFAH-Europe, Christian Behm

    17 June
    Christian Behm, Head of Region Europe for Bayer Animal HealthCare GmbH took up the reigns as Chairman for IFAH-Europe. Read more

  • Panel debate at EXPO Milan 2015 “Innovation – how can it fuel a strong & competitive EU agri-food sector?

    29 June
    Taking place as part of the European Food and Drink Week at the EU Pavilion of EXPO Milan the Agri-Food Chain Coalition hosted a debate with guest speaker European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan. Read more

  • Infographic: Innovation in animal health

    1 September
    Timeline providing an overview of the numerous breakthroughs and innovations that have marked the history of animal health since the beginning of veterinary science in 1761. View the infographic

  • IFAH-Europe leaflet

    3 September
    Leaflet outlining the role of IFAH-Europe with information on the European animal health industry. View the leaflet

  • 10th TOPRA Annual Veterinary Medicines Symposium

    12 October
    During the symposium IFAH-Europe’s Technical Director, Rick Clayton highlighted the need for new veterinary legislation pending in Europe to stimulate innovation while cutting the animal health industry's over-sized administrative burden. Read more

  • Farmers and veterinarians together to tackle antimicrobial resistance

    23 October
    During the conference held under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, IFAH-Europe Chairman called for policies regarding the use of antibiotics in animals to be based soundly on science and for the focus to be on Responsible Use of antibiotics. Read more

  • EPRUMA 10th anniversary reception

    10 November
    Hosted by MEP Julie Girling, EPRUMA partners celebrated 10 years of promoting responsible use of medicines in animals. Read more

  • EPRUMA best-practice framework for the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals

    10 November
    EPRUMA published a new brochure outlining a 'next level' approach for implementing responsible use of antibiotics on the farm for further optimisation of animal health, following on from the 2008 brochure. Read more

  • European Antibiotics Awareness Day

    18 November
    Speaking at the ECDC launch event of the 8th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, IFAH-Europe Secretary General, Roxane Feller called for collaborative action from policymakers, scientists, industry, veterinarians, farmers, medical professionals, as well as the general public to address the issue of antibiotic resistance. Read more

  • 7th European Innovation Summit

    9 December
    The Agri-Food Chain Coalition – a joint initiative of 11 European trade associations - confirmed support for the ‘innovation principle’ in policy-making to guarantee the long-term competitiveness of the EU agricultural sector during the 7th European Innovation Summit. Read more

IFAH-Europe members

Current membership

Corporate members National Member associations
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