IFAH Calls on EU Regulators to Ensure That Legislation on Veterinary Medicine is Fit for Purpose & Stands the Test of Time

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17 Jun 2016 --- IFAH-Europe, the International Federation for Animal Health - Europe, have called on the European Union to ensure that the forthcoming legislation on animal medicines and medicated feed will foster innovation and increase the availability of veterinary medicines to protect the health and welfare of all animals across Europe.  

Christian Behm, IFAH-Europe’s Chairman, outlined the industry’s main commitments to animal health in Europe citing, protection against emerging infectious diseases for both animals and people, combatting the development of antimicrobial resistance, and ensuring food safety and the prevention of food-borne illnesses.  He listed three major requirements that the new legislation should deliver on so that the sector can fully deliver on these commitments: it should increase the availability of medicines for all species in all member states; it should protect and stimulate innovation in disease prevention and control ; ; and it should reduce the administrative burden by making the system more efficient and avoiding duplication. 
 
The call was made during IFAH-Europe’s annual conference held today in Brussels on the topic: Animal health matters: will the legislation deliver? The conference – which gathered over 120 European animal health and agrifood-chain stakeholders, policymakers and experts – explored the importance of animal health for the citizens of Europe and addressed the key question of whether the proposed EU legislation on veterinary medicines is future-proof. Major topics of discussion included emerging diseases and the impact on public health; animal health in the context of climate change;; the Commission’s policy on animal health; the current state of the legislation on veterinary medicines and medicated feed in the European Parliament; and perspectives of the animal health industry.  
 
Commenting on the outcome of the conference debate, Roxane Feller, IFAH-Europe Secretary General, said:  “We very much appreciate opportunities such as this for open dialogue with the institutions on these important pieces of legislation and we are encouraged by the sound base established so far. Now we look to the Slovak Presidency of the Council and the member states’ considerations to build on this base and firmly establish rules that will be conducive to increasing the availability of prevention and treatment options for all of Europe’s animals now and into the future.
 
Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated: “The availability of medicines to prevent or treat specific diseases for all animal species is of the highest concern. It is very much linked to the industry’s ability to innovate and also of the internal market's ability to function properly, without unnecessary burdens or barriers. […] It is […] through innovation that availability is increased, and with it, our capacity to face animal and public health challenges. […] I would simply like to re-affirm the Commission's commitment to support innovation in the development of new pharmaceutical products. I hope the legal package will be adopted swiftly so that its multiple benefits can be realised as soon as possible, not least in relation to the fight against AMR.” 
 
The conference also saw contributions from Jozef Bires, Slovakian Chief Veterinary Officer; MEP Françoise Grossetête and Norbert Lins; Guy Hendrickx, Managing Director; Avia-GIS, Jose Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaino, Professor of Animal Health at Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Stefano Soro, DG SANTE’s Head of Unit for Animal Nutrition and Veterinary Medicines; Bernard Van Goethem, DG SANTE Director for Crisis Management in Food, Animals and Plants; Wijnand de Bruijn, IFAH-Europe Vice-Chairman, and Peter Oostenbach, Chair of IFAH-Europe’s Innovation Task Force.  

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