Today is the first World Animal Vaccination Day, an event designed to highlight the importance of vaccination as an “essential” route towards improving animal health, with the use of vaccines in relation to salmonella in poultry being held up as a shining success story.
The day is backed by the global animal medicines association HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association and promoted by IFAH-Europe, who represent the European animal health industry.
“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 and food-borne illnesses,” said IFAH-Europe.
“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 increasing and it is essential that preventive action be taken.”
Arguing that one of the key preventive means is vaccination, IFAH-Europe’s secretary general, Roxane Feller, pointed to the success of vaccines in relation to salmonella.
“In the EU, salmonella is the most frequently reported cause of food-borne outbreaks and Efsa estimates that the overall economic burden of human salmonellosis could be as high as €3 billion (£2.35 bn) a year,” she said.
“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.”
Ms Feller also said that IFAH-Europe fully supports the European Commission’s motto that prevention is better than cure, adding that the new World Animal Vaccination Day was an “excellent initiative” which would help to promote the importance of vaccination in animals.