On Wednesday, October 3 took place in Brussels a conference on animal health and its cost: "Economics of Animal Health: a price worth paying?".
The conference was closed by John Dalli, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy who highlighted that:
- EU policies on animal health can and will make an important contribution towards meeting the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy.
- From a broader perspective, improved animal health throughout the world can contribute significantly to the food security challenges that we will face in decades to come.
- The economic and veterinary fields must continue to work together to establish the most efficient and effective use of resources to invest in animal health. This is our clear duty when spending money that EU citizens have contributed towards the common good.
- Explore all possible avenues where savings could be made by reducing administrative burdens and associated costs. For example, we plan to make a proposal to revise the official certification currently required by EU legislation for slaughter animals. Here a simplification appears plausible which could imply savings of up to 80 million Euro annually without compromising the high levels of safety European citizens demand and enjoy.
- It is essential that a strong case for this investment continues to be made. We must be able to reassure politicians and citizens that a high level of animal health contributes not only to human health and wellbeing but also to growth and prosperity in the EU.
In this context, the Commissioner firmly believes that the expenditure on (or investments in) animal health to prevent major animal diseases or to react to outbreaks should continue to be shared between the private and public sectors.
In the coming months the Commission plans to adopt a package of proposals to reinforce the safety of the food chain – including a proposal for a new Animal Health Law and one for the Financial Framework covering EU expenditure for the safety and health of the whole food chain for the period 2014 to 2020.These proposals will reflect the EU values that I have raised, as well as all the experience that we have gained over the past twenty years following the creation of the single market.
The proposals will also provide clearer targets for any investments made in terms of human and financial resources, at EU or national level, by the public or private sector, with the aim of improving animal health and food safety.
Thursday October 4, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.