About Principles of Operation

HealthforAnimals and its members commit to the following Principles. It is a requirement of membership to accept and abide by the Principles. Their success requires awareness amongst the companies and associations.

HealthforAnimals represents the animal health sector: manufacturers of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other animal health products throughout the world, as well as the associations that represent companies at national and regional levels (referred to as Members).

The animal health industry provides value to society by protecting animals and as a consequence, humans, from diseases. Our products help keep pets and food-producing animals healthy. The public health benefits we bring include safer and more secure food supplies, more efficient production for increased food supply, improved sustainability, and prevention of the transmission of zoonotic diseases.


1. Health is the priority The health and well-being of humans and animals is a priority for the members of HealthforAnimals. Keeping animals healthy and ensuring their welfare is a major objective for HealthforAnimals members, and represents a genuine contribution to society. This contributes to furthering the OneHealth which HealthforAnimals promotes. As only healthy animals produce safe and wholesome food, our commitment allows the farming community to provide safe and high quality food and at the same time save natural resources. Similarly, our constant commitment to develop better medicines for pets is adding to the length and quality of life enjoyed by pets and their owners.

2. Development and production The development of animal health products shall be conducted in a responsible manner having regard to all available scientific data and in accordance with all applicable national laws and regulations. Particular attention shall be paid to animal welfare. All veterinary medicines must be made in accordance with their registration. Production procedures shall take into account operator and environmental safety.

3. Quality, safety and efficacy The industry operates within a stringent regulatory framework at global, regional and national levels to ensure the quality, efficacy and safety of its products. Members will conform to high standards of quality, safety and efficacy as determined by regulatory authorities, pharmacopoeial bodies and company standards. Companies are responsible for providing accurate, balanced and scientifically valid data on products. Members actively support a rigorous, science-based product licensing system and the distribution of registered products through authorised channels to ensure they can be used safely and effectively.

4. Distribution and use Members shall ensure that they supply their products only to those permitted in law to receive such products and shall cooperate with the appropriate authorities to encourage the proper distribution and use of such products. Members take all necessary measures to ensure that their products are used properly and responsibly. With this in mind, members provide reliable and easily accessible product information which is accurate, substantiated, scientifically validated and consistent with applicable regulatory standards. The use of animal health products should support the use of good husbandry and good animal management.

5. Promotion and communication National regulations dictate the format, content and target audiences of the product information communicated on labelling, packaging, leaflets, data sheets and promotional material. Members adhere to national association Codes of Practice on product advertising and promotion, and are committed to keep promotional activities and materials in line with applicable regulations and appropriate to support the correct use of the products. Promotional information should be clear, legible, accurate, balanced, fair, and sufficiently complete and respect the requirement that promotion should be consistent with the label and approved uses locally. A veterinary medicinal product must not be promoted prior to the grant of the marketing authorisation permitting its sale or supply.

Members are obligated in all relationships to communicate with integrity, accuracy and clarity. Improving animal health depends on information-sharing and interactions with stakeholders – veterinarians, governments, farmers, pet owners and others. In such interaction, interlocutors must be confident Members act in an ethical and professional manner, wherever they operate in the world.

6. Innovation and data protection Members continually make major investments in the development of new products and to support existing products. To ensure that animals have the access to the licensed medicines they need, members support the principles of data protection and reasonable and fair regulations on intellectual property to support the necessary innovation.

7. Applicable codes Members follow applicable codes of Pharmacovigilance, Good Manufacturing Practice, Good Clinical Practice and Good Laboratory Practice.

8. National codes of conduct National and regional association members of HealthforAnimals must create, implement and enforce Codes of Good Practice (Conduct), equally reflecting national legislation as well as these Principles. HealthforAnimals maintains an inventory of these Codes. Member companies must comply directly with applicable national Codes where they exist. In countries where there are no local Codes or appropriate laws and regulations, or where a member company is not a member of local/ regional association, the HealthforAnimals Principles acts as a default Code for the activities of member companies.

9. Anti-trust HealthforAnimals maintains strict anti-trust rules in all its meetings and interactions. Antitrust rules are distributed with agendas and referred to at the start of all meetings. They are strictly enforced. National associations are encouraged to do the same.

This Statement of Principles was last updated on 1 November 2015