First of all FVE would like to congratulate the European Commission, in particular DG SANCO with the development of this Animal Health Strategy.
Although the Commission’s role in respect of the Animal Health and Welfare has become increasingly successful and widely accepted, FVE very much welcomes its initiative to shift from a series of interrelated policy actions to defining a strategy and identifying long term goals.
FVE is especially pleased to see that the Strategy recognises the strong relations between Animal Health and Public Health and between Animal Health and Animal Welfare. Only in combination these can be effectively promoted. Keeping the welfare of animals high is critical in keeping them healthy. In the Strategy Animal Welfare is identified as important and we hope this will be reflected in the actions. The added value that Animal Welfare offers to the European society should be recognised and debate should not be limited to the issue of economic costs.
FVE welcomes a new Community general legal framework as the “Animal Health Law”, establishing the general principles, defining the roles and responsibilities, foreseeing efficient organisational arrangements and clear procedures in accordance with existing decision making process.
Another point of the Strategy we value is the international and global approach of the control of Animal Health. It will be much more effective to go to the origin of transmissible disease outbreaks and try to solve these, than to wait until they have reached our borders.
We support increased coordination with OIE– in terms of legislation, structure, organisation, resources, capacities, the role of the private sector and paraprofessionals – as a ‘minimum goal’. Adequate resources should be directed to achieve this objective in order to protect Animal Health, Animal Welfare, Public Health and the global economy.