Ensuring Ethical Business Practices

Ensuring Ethical Business Practices

We invest millions of dollars each year in the research and development of novel animal health products.


As with our human health pharmaceuticals and vaccines, we test our investigative animal health pharmaceuticals and vaccines vigorously for safety, quality and efficacy before submitting them for approval, which can be obtained only after thorough review by independent regulatory authorities.

The authorization standards for veterinary medicines are at the same level as those for human medicines. On average, it takes five to 12 years to bring a veterinary product to market.

All of our pharmaceuticals and vaccines used in food-producing animals must be tested for safety, quality and efficacy in the treated animals and any food products that may come from them (such as milk, eggs, or meat). Our submissions to regulatory agencies also include an environmental assessment that appraises the effects of the use of our products on flora, fauna, soil and water.

All products have labeling developed to ensure that the intended use of the product is clear, so that it may be safely and properly used. This testing and refining of the product can take years to complete. When all of the required testing is completed and found to be satisfactory by the appropriate government regulatory agency, the product is approved to be sold. Once a product is on the market, we monitor all aspects that could affect product safety. Findings are assessed and reported to regulatory authorities, as required by pharmacovigilance rules, and addressed through appropriate measures.

The approval process for medicines and vaccines used in farm animals also establishes withdrawal periods, from the time the last dose of product is given until the animals or their products enter the food chain. These withdrawal periods ensure the safety of human consumption of meat, milk and eggs from pharmaceutical- and vaccine-treated animals.

A science-based, predictable regulatory environment is one of the key conditions necessary for innovation and for providing our customers with high-quality products. We support global harmonization of the regulatory process for veterinary medicinal products through participation in and dialogue with the  International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH) and the Codex Alimentarius.

On average, it takes five to 12 years to bring a veterinary product to market.


Disease prevention can be significantly aided by vaccination. In a number of countries, we support veterinarians in enhancing the efficacy and impact of prevention programs, like our ResCalf and ResPig programs and the Convenience Program. These provide a structured approach to improving lung health and preventing bovine respiratory disease in calves and respiratory diseases in pigs and poultry. Respiratory disease can seriously affect the health of cattle, pigs and poultry, and can lead to economic losses. Our acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Whisper® Veterinary Stethoscope System, a non-invasive bovine respiratory disease (BRD) detection system, is an example of how we support veterinarians to help manage herd health. The Whisper Stethoscope System is used to assess lung health, so that, if needed, the appropriate treatment regimen can be implemented to protect the health of the animal. BRD is the most common disease affecting cattle in North America.1

By the geo-expansion into Latin America and Asia-Pacific of our PORCILIS® PCV M Hyo® vaccine, the first ready-to-use single-injection combination vaccine to protect piglets against porcine circovirus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infections during the fattening period, we help these markets to control these disease complexes and reduce the need to use antibiotics to treat sick animals.


Our Animal Health business uses our experience, resources and science to help our partners keep animals healthy, ensure a sustainable food supply, protect public health, and help people and pets enjoy their lives together. We are committed to making a difference in the health and welfare of animals and in wider societal needs. We make it a priority to help those in need with product and monetary support. In the United States, this amounted to over $1.5 million in support in 2017.


Several communities in the United States suffered devastating damage on an unprecedented scale as a result of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, and the California and Montana Wildfires. Apart from the enormous impact on the human population, unfortunately, such natural disasters also affect countless livestock animals and pets. We responded to meet the medical needs of animals in affected areas through the donation of financial assistance, products and professional/technical support.

In addition to on-the-ground support provided by customer representatives and technical service veterinarians to assist with relief and recovery efforts, support was also extended via financial assistance and the donation of much-needed products to a number of partner organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), the Humane Society of the United States, Texas A&M Foundation, and the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine.


Access to veterinary expertise and medicines significantly benefits the livelihoods of small landholders and their families.

Milk for Malawi: The Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association (SHMPA) has provided supportive services to 7,000 smallholder dairy farmers in Southern Malawi since 1985. Our Animal Health business has partnered with SHMPA to lend financial and in-kind support to Malawian dairy farmers to improve the quality and quantity of milk supplies, which currently account for approximately 95 percent of the processed milk in Malawi. In 2017, our Animal Health business supplied NILZAN® boluses and DELETE® ALL acaridae to treat for parasitic worms and insects such as fleas and ticks.

These convenient products may be quickly and safely administered: NILZAN boluses are supplied orally while DELETE ALL is poured onto the back of each cow. Healthier cows are integral to smallholder operations, which rely on the sale of both milk and calves for income. Through the Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association, farmers receive training on the importance of practicing preventative medical care. At this time, approximately 400 women are entering the dairy farming market each year through SHMPA, enabling additional income for their families.

Relief for unwanted horses: Many of the unwanted horses in the U.S. are healthy horses that become more of a burden than a blessing to their owners because of financial limitations, time constraints, or otherwise failing to meet expectations. These horses can often be repurposed and re-homed. Others may be sick, injured or old. No one knows for sure how many unwanted horses exist in the United States, but we do know that the number of unwanted horses exceeds the resources currently available to accommodate them.

Our company’s Animal Health business supports the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign together with the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The campaign provides complimentary vaccinations to equine rescue and rehabilitation facilities in an effort to help provide proper health care to rehabilitate, revitalize and rehome America’s unwanted horses. Since the inception of the program in December of 2008, more than $1,000,000 of vaccines have been donated to help over 25,000 unwanted horses. In 2017, we donated vaccines with a value of more than $175,000.

1. D. Griffin: Economic impact associated with respiratory disease in beef cattle. In: The Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice. Band 13, Number 3, November 1997, ISSN 0749-0720, S. 367–377, PMID 9368983.