The SIMV (French association of animal health industry) represents the companies that manufacture medicines and diagnostics aimed at pets and livestock, and those that market them in France.
The role of the veterinary medicine and reagent industry is to keep animals in good health by providing therapeutic solutions to prevent and treat diseases.
The issues around animal health
It is a question of keeping animals in the best possible health.
Animal health encompasses the following issues:
Pain is under-diagnosed in France, and only one animal in three is treated, compared to 50-75% in other countries.
The industry is strongly committed to preserving and improving the well-being of pets and livestock, and to more effectively managing pain. For example, pets in good health contribute to the emotional and psychological balance of a large part of the population, particularly among the most vulnerable (the elderly, people living alone, etc.).
Public health and the "One Health" concept
Humankind has always had to deal with propagation of infectious agents and of the risks of pandemics and, in the past ten years, propagation has been increasing. Diseases of animal origin (avian influenza, H1N1, SARS, etc.) have impacts on our health, on the quality and safety of our food, and on biodiversity.
Various health crises have shown how a health event that is initially an animal health issue can represent a risk for public health, with global consequences on the economy, the environment, and companies.
A triptych then emerges between human health, animal health and environment management. This link requires a consistent and overall approach to health and is known as the “One Health” initiative. Globalisation of health risks is making this concept even more topical than before.
60% of known infectious human diseases are of animal origin (zoonoses). They are transmitted by uncontrolled food, by vectorial transmission or by simple contact.
Veterinary medicines and reagents, by contributing to the prevention and treatment of contagious and parasitic animal diseases, participate in the protection of humans against diseases of animal origin - and therefore in health safety as well.
Food safety and security
Food safety refers to the guarantee that food will not cause harm to consumers when prepared and consumed according to its intended use.
Infectious animal diseases may have repercussions on food safety, as well as a detrimental economic impact by leading to the loss of products of animal origin.
Veterinary medicines and reagents, by contributing to the prevention and treatment of contagious and parasitic animal diseases in livestock, ensure that animals are in good health, resulting in healthy foodstuffs - and therefore contributing to food safety.
Food security refers to the security of food stores in terms of quantity and quality.
The late 20th and early 21st centuries have been marked by a major increase in pressure in land resources, particularly regarding economic and demographic developments. This requires the production of animal proteins in sufficient quantities in all types of livestock. The likely twofold increase in the demand for meat and milk by 2050 will have a large impact on organised production chains, such as for poultry, veal and even aquaculture.
Veterinary medicines and reagents, by contributing to the preservation of animal health, ensure the competitiveness of livestock as well as technical, economic and environmental efficiency of all systems of stock farming. Veterinary medicines and reagents contribute to food security.
Agricultural production has an environmental impact due to the carbon dioxide (CO2) that it emits. For example, cattle account for 5% of the 500 million tonnes of CO2 emitted by France, i.e. 26 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (a little over one million tonnes of methane).
Veterinary medicines and reagents have a role to play there as well. By keeping animals in good health, they make it possible to reduce disease-related production losses. The same quantity of food is produced by a limited number of animals in good health.
The environmental impact is therefore reduced by the correct use of veterinary medicines and reagents.
Veterinary medicines and reagents are therefore key instruments in sustainable development, reconciling public health, industrial development and environment protection, while also being aligned with the "One Health" concept.
 Wood Mc Kenzie Study, March 2006. Vet estimation