We are One Health: NOAH conference calls for stronger voice from animal health

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NOAH’s Conference and VIP lunch, held in London on 4 October, shone the spotlight on how the animal health sector is working to progress advances in One Health, and how the human and veterinary sector can work even closer together.

In the programme chaired by Gwyn Jones, Chair of RUMA, Prof Peter Borriello, Chief Executive Officer of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate explored the history of One Health. He described how even at the time of Hippocrates there was a true One Health approach. Only in more recent years did specialisation occur. He explained that we need go back to this approach on challenges such as AMR and improve how we work together across jurisdictions, including, for example, engaging on the environment.

Prof Borriello said: “Animal health must have a stronger voice and can lead. One Health should never be an afterthought. It needs engagement at the front end.”

Nathan Ward, Business Unit Director from World Panel Division, Kantar spoke about changing food buying habits in the UK and how changing consumer preferences affect livestock farming.

“People are becoming more engaged with the type of food they are eating,” he said. “They are engaged with the concept of welfare and provenance, but they aren’t prepared to pay more. We need to communicate the benefits clearly – while price now dominates purchasing behaviour, changes may come if we make enough noise.”

Sheuli Porkess, Executive Director Research, Medical and Innovation, ABPI, stressed that as we face the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance, the need to work together across sectors has never been so important. She said that we need to champion the role of vaccines in helping prevent AMR.

Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, Executive Director, HealthforAnimals said he believed that our industry are leaders on One Health, and we need to be more forceful in explaining what we do and how we do it. “It is critical we increase the uptake of vaccinations in both human and animal health,” he said. “HealthforAnimals is working on this: it has recently published a global guide of 80 recommendations to overcome existing barriers, to help increase animal vaccination,” he said.

Echoing Sheuli Porkess on the role of vaccination as part of the fight against AMR, he added: “It’s not about reducing the use of antibiotics, but about reducing the need for them.”

Notes for Editors

  1. For more information please contact Dawn Howard or Alison Glennon at NOAH on 020 8367 3131 or see www.noah.co.uk

  2. NOAH represents the UK animal health industry. It promotes the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health and welfare of all animals.

  3. HealthforAnimals’ report ‘How to increase Animal Vaccination: 80 recommendations to overcome existing barriers’ is available at https://healthforanimals.org/resources-and-events/resources/publications/176-how-to-increase-animal-vaccination-80-recommendations-to-overcome-existing-barriers.html. Its ‘Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics’ is available at https://healthforanimals.org/resources-and-events/resources/publications/175-roadmap-to-reducing-the-need-for-antibiotics.html