Message from the Secretary General and President

As Secretary General and President of AnimalhealthEurope we start our annual report with some words of thanks to our secretariat for all their hard work and dedication throughout this past year. We invite you to browse through our annual report to find out what 2023 had in store for us and to learn more about our efforts to raise awareness on why animal health matters.

As member of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare we had a keen focus on the planned revision of the EU legislation on animal welfare, contributing where relevant to the various consultations to promote the prominent role of animal healthcare and new technologies for better animal welfare. Our annual event saw participants discuss the different role that different parties play with the aim of achieving the same goal of high levels of animal welfare in Europe. This was a key opportunity to promote the animal health sector as a solutions provider.

Like many other stakeholders we were surprised to learn in the second half of the year that the full package of new rules would not be published within the stated timeframe, but we understand the need to ensure that a proper cost and time assessment is given in order to ensure the updated rules can be implemented feasibly and properly. We were pleased to see pet welfare get a priority for once, with the rules on the welfare of dogs and cats being published in December alongside the transport rules which are also partly applicable to dogs and cats.

We’ve been pleased to be invited to speak at a number of events this year, many focusing on One Health and how to ensure we move from concept to application. We’ve also had a number of opportunities to showcase the key role that modern-day animal health technologies can play in Europe’s drive for more sustainable food systems.

This past December we were privileged to be able to stand alongside a farmer using today’s monitoring technology and smart collars to protect the health and welfare of his herd of dairy cows during the first ever Agri Digital Conference which took place in the auspices of the EU Agri Food Days. This was a great opportunity not just for us to talk about what our industry is doing and where we’re going in terms of innovation, but also to show the technology in action with a live demo and to hear feedback from the farmer using it.

Animal welfare, sustainability and innovation aside, our secretariat had to have their ears to the ground to monitor and react as necessary to the relatively large number of files that could have an impact on the availability of animal medicines in the future. From water and soil related dossiers, to packaging and packaging waste rules, via a stream of chemicals-focused files, our secretariat has been busy ensuring that the benefit-risk approach remains top of mind to ensure the health and welfare of all animals is not unduly jeopardised.

Monitoring of all this horizontal legislation of course went hand-in-hand with the monitoring within our various national associations of how the new EU Regulations on Veterinary Medicines and Medicated Feed are being applied in each of the Member States. As reported in 2022 some technical hiccups with the new databases and processes have still not quite found their groove. Our Technical Director Rick Clayton can fill you in on the details in this year’s in-depth article – read on!

None of what we have achieved this year would have been possible without the support of our member companies, associations and various experts we work with on a daily basis. Thanks also go to our partners in the Brussels sphere, regulatory authorities and the EU decision-makers who have kindly taken part in our events, invited us to speak at important events, and generally remained open throughout the year for exchanges on animal health related topics.