As leaders descend on Glasgow in preparation for negotiations on measures necessary to address climate change, the animal health industry is helping Australia’s agriculture industry reach its AG2030 goals by providing animal health tools and products that boost livestock productivity and underwrite sustainability efforts.
Maximising the health of all animals is critical to improving sustainable livestock production according to Animal Medicines Australia’s Executive Director Ben Stapley.
“The livestock sector has made significant commitments to minimise environmental impacts. These include National Farmers Federation support for an economy-wide aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050 and the red meat and livestock target to be carbon neutral by 2030 (1),” Mr Stapley said.
“The animal health industry is working with our networks and partners to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals recognizing that action, from cutting emissions to delivering nutrition, will help provide a better and more sustainable future for all.”
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) estimates that more than 20% of animal production worldwide is lost as a direct result of disease (2 ). Improvements in the prevention and/or control of disease is central to improving the sustainability of food systems across the globe.
“As we meet the challenge of feeding the world and address climate change, all productions systems ae needed, and improved animal health will benefit all.”
Disease outbreaks in livestock impact all aspects of a sustainable food system, resulting not just in increased mortality rates and stillbirth incidence, decreased productivity and fertility rates and decreased quality, but also significant economic, human health, food security and trade impacts (3). Having ready access to the tools necessary to keep animals healthy is, therefore, key to a sustainable and resilient agricultural sector, with subsequent environmental, economic and social benefits (4).
“Australian livestock producers have access to leading animal health innovations and technologies to assess and address livestock disease risks. These products and veterinary medicines range from monitoring and diagnostic tools through to vaccines and anti-parasiticides.”
Livestock health and wellbeing is inextricably linked with the success and sustainability of Australian farms. High standards of animal health and wellbeing not only ensures the welfare of Australian livestock meets community expectations, but also translates directly into improved productivity and reduced morbidity and mortality.
“Maintaining and improving livestock health is not only best practice animal welfare, it also makes the entire production system more sustainable and productive.
“Healthy animals are more sustainable. Healthy animals require less resources while every farm animal lost to illness and disease requires another to be raised elsewhere to meet market demand.
“Our members are committed to delivering the tools required to prevent, diagnose and treat animal disease – while continuing to reduce to footprint of our supply chain.
“Strengthening the prevention, detection and treatment of animal diseases must be prioritised – only healthy, thriving animals will produce safe food using less resources, power economic growth and strengthen human wellbeing.”
Read more Environment, Health and Communities – Animal Health Sector Sustainability Actions Report.