Publications IFAH renews call for collaboration and innovation to safeguard human and animal health

IFAH renews call for collaboration and innovation to safeguard human and animal health


World Zoonoses Day 2012

Brussels, 6 July 2012 – On the occasion of World Zoonoses Day 2012, the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) renews its call for collaboration between human and animal health organisations to develop new technologies to prevent and control zoonotic diseases.

IFAH Executive Director, Barbara Freischem said: “Animal health is inextricably linked to human health on a global scale. Zoonotic diseases pass naturally between people and animals. In fact, 61% of animal diseases are zoonotic and can therefore cause disease in people.

This is why controlling/preventing diseases in animals is so important; it not only protects animal health and welfare, but also protects public health. And veterinary medicines are indispensable tools to achieve this feat. A good example of where animal health interacts with human health is rabies and the success there has been in managing this zoonotic disease over the last century. Affordable and effective animal vaccines have controlled rabies so effectively especially in large parts of Europe that researchers today speak of the possibility of the global elimination of the virus. We can dare to talk about the eradication of rabies, which is still and issue especially in Asia and Africa, because the veterinary tools are there.

However, the animal health industry must keep investing in research and develop and keep up the trend of new and emerging diseases. With a rapidly expanding population, the need for the development of new medicines is not only vital for ensuring tomorrow’s global food supply, but also for safeguarding against zoonotic pathogens that can pass from animals to humans and vice versa. It is therefore vitally important that we work together to develop new technologies based on sound science to ensure that we have the available tools to prevent and control the spread of zoonotic diseases.”

Notes for editors
The International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH) is an organisation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in both developed and developing countries across five continents. The mission of IFAH is to foster a greater understanding of animal health matters and promote a predictable, science-based regulatory environment that facilitates the supply of innovative and quality animal medicines, vaccines and other animal health products into a competitive market place. These products contribute to a healthy and safe food supply as well as a high standard of health and welfare for animals and people. For further information on IFAH, please visit

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Kim Hardie, Communications Director
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