Farm Animal Health
By the year 2050, the world will need to double food production to feed a global population estimated to be 9.1 billion*. Meeting this need involves the cost-effective production of safe, high-quality animal protein.
There are several factors influencing the growing importance of livestock medicines and vaccines as a component of global food supply:
- Growth in the global population and increasing standards of living are increasing demand for improved nutrition, particularly animal protein
- Natural resource constraints, such as scarcity of arable land and fresh water and increased competition for cultivated land will restrict the resources available to meet this increased demand
- Heightened focus on food safety
The productivity imperative
Related to rapid population growth, it’s estimated that the need for milk, for example, will more than quadruple from 2003 demand levels by 2050**. But the additional land and water needed to produce more meat and milk will not double.
Producing double with less
Thus, a key challenge for all players in the food ecosystem is how to meet the so-called “productivity imperative” – how to produce double with less.
By providing ways for farmers and livestock producers to increase productivity, the animal health industry can help address this challenge. Vaccines and medicines, feed additives, improved production practices and advanced techniques and devices – all of these assist producers with preventing diseases and optimizing the efficiency of feed-to-meat conversion and milk and egg yield. Or, put simply, reducing the amount of land and water that goes into the process of putting eggs, milk and meat on grocery store shelves.
Assuring a wholesome and sustainable global food supply with healthy livestock plays an important role in keeping the world’s population well-nourished and healthy. Essential to this are the use of products that prevent diseases, treat sick animals and control disease outbreaks. Providers of these products must work responsibly to develop medicines for food-producing animals within stringent government guidelines; encourage responsible veterinary use of animal medicines; and support government efforts to monitor microbial and food safety as meat and dairy products enter the food supply.
*Source: United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision Population Database; USDA World Markets Livestock and Poultry; Census Bureau Int Meat Consumption; FAO The State of Food and Agriculture Report
**If all countries consume milk at developed world levels