Promoting a Sustainable Food Supply
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be an additional 2 billion people in the world. To feed them, we will need to help animal producers become more efficient and more sustainable.
Our Animal Health business contributes to a sustainable, affordable and safe food supply.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) estimates that animal disease reduces global food production by at least 20 percent.1 In addition, the land and water available for agricultural use continues to decrease each year. It is crucial that food-producing animals remain healthy and are raised efficiently to meet global demands for sustainable protein.
Our portfolio of Animal Health products and services is focused on helping farmers keep their livestock healthy and productive. Targeted intervention with vaccines, anti-parasitics anti-infectives, and other veterinary medicines and services help protect the health and well-being of animals and help producers to avoid and/or limit their production losses.
Fostering future research
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, research in agriculture is consistently seen to provide high rates of economic return when considered with all rural development investments.2 Sustainable agriculture supports communities and alleviates food insecurity. It also requires continuous innovation. For this reason, our Animal Health business is a strong supporter of researchers seeking to further the field of animal science and productivity.
We sponsor High Quality Pork, High Quality Poultry and High Quality Aquaculture Congresses around the world at which we additionally award outstanding researchers in each of these respective fields. The High Quality Congresses are unique regional opportunities for researchers to present their scientific findings among peers in the pursuit of addressing agricultural opportunities, challenges and advancements.
In 2018, our U.S. Animal Health business additionally presented the Animal Health Poultry Ph.D. Fellowship Award to a second-year doctoral student in poultry science in collaboration with the Poultry Science Association Foundation. The award, made possible through the Poultry Science Association Foundation Capital Campaign, awards $33,000 per year over a three-year period to support the research of a talented doctoral student and includes a student stipend, tuition and fees.
Time to Vaccinate
Vaccination is an essential building block for sustainable and healthy production with food animals. Regrettably, proactive vaccination protocols may not always be a first consideration to preventing or treating disease on the farm and may be perceived as too complex to implement and keep up with. In Europe, Turkey and Russia, our Time to Vaccinate initiative has opened the dialogue on proactive vaccination of ruminant livestock by connecting farmers with veterinarians, government bodies, processors and retailers.
Building off our successful whitepaper publication in 2017, Looking Beyond Antibiotics, the Time to Vaccinate initiative facilitates the exchange of information on preventative care best practices and routine, proactive health management. Vaccination not only prevents livestock from falling ill due to pathogens but can also decrease the need for antibiotics by strengthening the immune system and lowering disease burden.
The power of Time to Vaccinate lies in sharing information through vaccination training programs and videos and celebrating farmers that excel in implementing preventative medicine programs on their farms. In 2018, a Time to Vaccinate competition invited farmers across Ireland to share their prevention success stories and compete for an opportunity to visit highly successful dairy farms on mainland Europe.
In addition to communicating with farmers, retailers, veterinarians and consumers, our company has shared Time to Vaccinate with government officials and policymakers. In 2018, three successful “Looking Beyond Antibiotics” events were organized inviting policymakers to discuss the value of vaccination at the Assemblée nationale in Paris, the European Parliament in Brussels and in London.
Next steps for Time to Vaccinate will include constructing a training program for veterinarians to communicate with farming clients about designing and implementing preventative care and vaccination protocols for their facilities. We have additionally committed to working with the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, to develop a research program on the role of communication between veterinarians and farmers to improve herd health.
Innovative products and services for sustainability
Sustainability in agriculture is multifaceted and comes from the contribution of many solutions. Our Animal Health business contributes to sustainability by providing innovative products, application systems and services to our customers that reduce environmental impact, improve animal welfare and optimize animal productivity.
In 2018, we further rolled out innovation with our SPHEREON® technology, which freeze-dries poultry vaccines into small, highly soluble particles (spheres) instead of the traditional vaccine cake in a glass bottle. SPHEREON vaccines are packaged in lightweight, 100 percent recyclable aluminum cups in convenient dose sizes. These individual cups are then packaged in recycled PET plastic trays to be recycled after use. The innovative design provides convenience for poultry producers, as no component of SPHEREON packaging needs to be sent for medical waste incineration. In addition, dissolving the particles is fast and convenient for administration of the vaccine via water, spray or eye drop.
With the introduction of our IDAL® 3G and IDAL® 3G Twin vaccine delivery devices for swine, we revolutionized how farmers care for their swine. By providing options for using one (IDAL 3G) or two (IDAL 3G Twin) injector heads, these devices allow veterinarians and farmers to quickly deliver single and paired vaccines without using a needle. Not only is the stress to pigs decreased, but large numbers of pigs can be vaccinated much more rapidly with less farm labor. By providing innovative products like the IDAL 3G and IDAL 3G Twin, our business lowers the barriers to proactive vaccination of food-producing animals, thereby protecting their health, well-being and productivity. By benefitting the farmer and their herd, sustainable agriculture is promoted.
In addition to delivering products that maximize animal and farmer well-being, we provide industry-leading educational services like Cattle Care 365 and Dairy Care 365. Decreasing animal stress contributes to animal health and well-being, as well as farmer safety and productivity. Our animal care programs empower farmers and veterinarians to develop standard operating procedures and job training that are tailored to their cattle or dairy operation. By simplifying standard operating procedures and offering training in both English and Spanish, farmers, farm staff and veterinarians can work together to streamline care for their animals and set up sustainably successful business operations.