World Animal Vaccination Day - Preventing disease in animals is protecting Europe's citizens


World Animal Vaccination Day - Preventing disease in animals is protecting Europe's citizens

Ahead of European Immunisation Week (24–30 April) Polprowet together with IFAH-Europe is promoting the first ever World Animal Vaccination Day, an initiative of global animal medicines association HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association.

Vaccination for animals is not only essential for improved animal health but also for the protection of Europe’s citizens from diseases that can pass between animals and people (zoonoses) and food-borne illnesses. Animal disease outbreaks also have consequences on Europe’s agricultural economy.

With today’s globalised trade activity and changes in climate, incidences of animal diseases not previously reported in Europe are on the increase and it is essential that preventive action be taken. One of those preventive means is vaccination of animals.

The theme of the first World Animal Vaccination Day is cats. Veterinarians regularly report that cats are often the lesser-seen patient yet vaccinations for cat diseases are essential to prevent some life-threatening diseases. “Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) is the leading viral killer of cats, with 80-90% of infected cats dying within 3- 4 years. Thanks to regular widespread vaccination however less than 1-2% of healthy cats have FeLV according to International Cat Care”, said IFAH-Europe Secretary General Roxane Feller.

“When it comes to success stories where animal vaccines protect public health we only need to look at the case of salmonella. In the EU, salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-borne outbreaks and EFSA1 estimates that the overall economic burden of human salmonellosis could be as high as EUR 3 billion a year. The use of vaccines in poultry to protect against salmonella, along with other management measures saw human cases reduced by almost 50% in the EU since 2004, with the prevalence of salmonella in poultry decreasing significantly at the same time.”­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­