Animal vaccines protect our shared One Health

AnimalhealthEurope, FECAVA, FVE press release
World Animal Vaccination Day – 20 April

Brussels, 20 April 2023; Animal vaccines play an important role in animal health management, but this World Animal Vaccination Day we want to draw attention to the multiple ways in which animal vaccines protect our health and our environment.

Vaccination protects against disease transmission amongst animals or to people. This means our pets can safely provide companionship in our homes, and in the case of farm animals it can help to protect people against food-borne illnesses. Protecting against disease through vaccination also means less food or animal losses, better welfare, and therefore more efficient and sustainable food production.

Speaking for the companion animal veterinary federation in Europe, FECAVA President Denis Novak stated, “With rising debates about human vaccination, most pet owners are now wondering if it is safe to vaccinate their dogs and cats. The short answer is: yes! Benefits of vaccinations can be summarised as: vaccines help prevention of many of serious and lethal diseases; can help protect humans from infections such as Rabies and Leptospirosis; assurance of geographical law compliance; pet vaccination is a cost-effective option compared to treatment of any infectious diseases in pets.”

FVE President, Rens van Dobbenburgh, speaking on behalf of the federation of veterinarians in Europe said: “Vaccination is a cornerstone of preventive healthcare and one of the most cost-effective ways of maintaining animal health, longevity, and quality of life. Many animal vaccinations also serve a public health function by forming a barrier against zoonotic diseases affecting animals and humans. It is important to continue to raise awareness on animal vaccination.”

“Animal vaccination plays an important role in protecting our affordable, safe, and sustainable food supply in Europe, and this also protects our health and the health of our environment. Yet the role of vaccines for animals is often misunderstood and under-valued, particularly when people are not directly connected to farming or do not have pets in their family. We must continue to raise awareness collectively on the multiple One Health benefits”, said Roxane Feller, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General.

Animal vaccines have been helping Europe to protect its citizens successfully for many years now, preventing zoonotic diseases like rabies and managing many food-borne illnesses. Although still present in Europe, food-borne illnesses like salmonella posed serious threats to food safety and public health some years ago, but the early 2000s saw a 50% reduction in salmonella cases in people thanks to vaccine use in chickens. Let’s not lose sight of the protective effects of animal vaccines.

– ENDS –

• World Animal Vaccination Day – 20 April – is an initiative of HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association, occurring annually ahead of European Immunisation Week.
• AnimalhealthEurope represents 12 of Europe’s leading manufacturers of animal health products and 17 national associations. It represents innovators and generics alike, as well as large, medium-sized and small companies.
• FECAVA – Federation of Companion Animal Veterinary Associations represents more than 25,000 companion animal veterinarians in 40 European countries.
• FVE – Federation of Veterinarians of Europe is an umbrella organisation of veterinary organisations from 38 European countries.


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