Why One Health matters

Healthy animals mean healthy people and a healthier planet

Protecting animal health helps protect against the transmission of animal-borne diseases. But it also helps to protect an essential food source. Safe and sustainable food production is a key element of One Health. This is why AnimalhealthEurope recommends a One Health transition to sustainable food production under the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. Healthy animals contribute both to safe food and our food security, while minimising impacts on the environment.

‘One Health’ policies and strategies, strongly encouraged by the animal health sector, mean that different disciplines work collaboratively on local, national and global levels to try to balance the complex interactions between human, animal and environmental health. It is an approach that the European Commission is actively promoting within the EU, encouraging collaboration between sectors that can shape health.

Our members are playing a key role in making this One Health approach a reality, developing solutions such as vaccines and supporting the development of vaccine banks to help contain or control disease spread and other treatments to control the insects that can transmit some of these illnesses amongst animals.

The 2016 EU Regulation on Transmissible Animal Diseases, recognises the important role animal health plays in Europe. It puts in place a single overarching legal framework of standards for animal and public health in the EU and prioritises animal diseases, clarifies the responsibilities of the different actors working to ensure animal health, and outlines the measures to be taken to combat emerging diseases, placing a firm emphasis on prevention.