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By Betting And Gaming Council

Veterinary medicines and vaccines are vital to the success of the UK

Credit: Alamy


4 min read Partner content

NOAH’s new Livestock Vaccination Guideline sets out how the UK can consolidate its position on the world stage when it comes to animal health and welfare standards.

Recent times have shone a light not only on the risks that disease transferring from animals can pose to our own health, but also on the opportunities available to keep ourselves and our animals well.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it is vital that vaccination remains at the heart of the UK’s strategy to prioritise animal health and welfare and sustainable farming. This can also help to cement our status as a global scientific superpower.

Livestock vaccination, and the wider animal health industry, is a core part of Britain’s science and R&D industry. NOAH (National Office of Animal Health) represents the UK animal health industry, including around 97% of the UK animal medicines market. The animal health industry is dedicated to providing safe, effective, quality products and services for the treatment and welfare of all animals, and the authorised veterinary medicines sector is valued at approximately £725m of B2B UK sales every year.

Yet, despite its strength, the wider animal health industry faces challenges. Preventing and controlling disease on farms has never been more important, in the face of new agriculture policies, evolving disease challenges, new trading arrangements and the urgent need to meet environmental sustainability goals in response to climate change. Healthier animals mean better welfare and more sustainable farming. A preventative health approach for UK livestock, that recognises the value of population level action, delivered on farm and supported through vaccination is an integral part of this. 

This week we launch the NOAH Livestock Vaccination Guideline which brings together current veterinary clinical experience and research to demonstrate a proactive, best practice approach to vaccination in the dairy, beef and sheep sectors. The guideline will be a valuable tool to help improve the health and welfare of UK sheep and cattle and support farm resilience and sustainable improvements in productivity.

Having the right tools, medicines, and technology to prevent, diagnose, monitor and treat has never been more important, but we can’t do it alone. Just as government led the way on COVID vaccination with the Vaccine Task force and a robust regulatory response, UK government must continue to work in partnership with the animal health industry to ensure the UK remains a global leader in animal health. That’s why we are looking forward to the government’s upcoming Veterinary Medicines Regulations Review as a key opportunity to see a regulatory framework aligned with these priorities; to enable the UK’s animal health industry, and wider agricultural sector to continue to thrive. This must be prioritised, given the significant benefit and impacts that veterinary medicines and vaccines have for health, food security and sustainability. Ensuring we have the right regulations to support innovation is vital to maintain and build the UK as an attractive international market.

It is vital for the public and private sectors to work in partnership to maximise our combined value

The livestock sector is one of the top two or three most important influencers on the environment, both at local and global level as well as making a significant contribution to global food security through provision of high-quality protein sources. The new, industry-wide strategic approach to vaccination in the NOAH Livestock Vaccination Guideline will help to build greater resilience and ensure we are prioritising the future security of our sector across the UK.

With so many organisations in the UK working to ensure the collective health of our animals, it is vital for the public and private sectors to work in partnership to maximise our combined value. As our nation’s experiences from COVID shows, building a proactive research network with infrastructure for the future is vital to tackle threats to animals and humans when they arise. Vaccination has a leading role to play, along with good management, husbandry, nutrition and biosecurity. It can play a fundamental role in catalysing the change needed to support farm businesses and position the UK as an international brand for excellence in animal health and welfare, as well as sustainable food production.

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