The animal health industry plays a key role in livestock protection as a provider of tools to help prevent, control and manage animal diseases affecting Europe’s farming community. Thanks to these tools (vaccines and medicines) Europe has been successful in managing animal diseases such as salmonella, bluetongue or foot and mouth disease which just years ago posed serious threats to animal health, food safety and public health.
The industry remains acutely aware of future critical challenges however and strives to continue developing advanced solutions that protect both animal and human health. Below you will find links to a number of fact sheets outlining some of the successes experienced thanks to animal health products.
Coccidiosis in poultry.
Coccidiosis, a common parasitic disease occuring in the digestive tract which is characterised by intestinal problems and diarrhoea, along with reduced digestion by the affected birds. Animal health products prevent and reduce symptoms of the disease, which contribute to the animals' welfare as well as ensure safe poultry products and their cost-effective production.
Coccidiosis is caused by small, protozal parasites also known as coccidia, from the genus Eimeria. Part of the lifecycle is an oocyst (or an egg) which as the ability to persist in the animal's environment. In all farming conditions, be it free range or barn production, it is impossible to have an environment free of coccidia. Some oocysts will remain between two batches of birds, are carried by new birds in their intestines or on their feet, or by people and equipment. Since chickens are born without immunity against coccidiosis, protection is needed from the moment the chicks hatch.
The animal health impact of coccidiosis is significant. When the animals are sick they can produce liquid faeces with musus and blood. The severity of the infestation is often complicated by the presence of secondary bacterial infections. In chickens and, less frequently, in turkeys, death rates can go up to 12-15% and disease levels can go up to 100% during severe outbreaks.