Supporting sustainable agriculture

for a healthier future…

Farms play an important role in our society. Not just because they provide us with the meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products many people enjoy, but because they create jobs for millions of European farmers, farm workers and people living outside of towns, so their sustainability is important.

Farmers have a responsibility to focus on sustainable management practices and to promote biodiversity. And it’s on the animal healthcare sector to provide the vaccines, digital tools and medicines that protect animal health and well-being and support farmers in their drive for sustainable practices.

Thanks to the use of animal medicines Europe has been successful in preventing and managing animal diseases such as bluetongue, bovine mastitis, circovirus, and foot-and-mouth disease, which just years ago posed serious threats to animal health, food safety and public health.

The OIE estimates that around 20% of global production of food is lost due to diseases in farmed animals. This is probably slightly lower in Europe, but innovations in animal medicines can help to improve animal health and welfare, in order to address these production losses. This in turn helps to ensure optimal use of natural resource inputs like feed and water, and minimise food losses and waste. This also helps to minimise the impact of livestock production on the environment. 

Advances in animal breeding and nutrition, along with the increased responsible use of animal health products, including antibiotics, have helped to transform livestock agriculture and food production over the past 50 years. According to Jacques Viaene of the University of Ghent, if we did not have animal medicines, we would need 89% more cattle to produce the same amount of milk and beef. By  improving animal health and welfare, cutting mortality rates, and reducing losses due to disease, our products have contributed to efficiencies in productivity while supporting sustainable farming practices.

Quick Facts

The OIE estimates that 20% of global production is lost due to diseases in farmed animals

Research has found that cattle disease can increase GHG emissions by up to 24% per unit of milk and 113% per beef carcass

86% of livestock feed intake is made of resources that are not edible by people. These animals produce valuable food using materials that would otherwise go to waste

Op-eds

16 September 2020

Sustainability in livestock farming is a matter of balance

By Roxane Feller in Euractiv
27 October 2020

Healthier livestock will seal the European Green Deal

By Martin Scholten, WUR in New Europe