Best Practice Framework on the Responsible use of vaccines
EPRUMA promotes the responsible use of medicines in animals (www.epruma.eu) and shares information on best practices to prevent, control and treat animal diseases, supporting animal health and welfare, contributing to food safety, and safeguarding human wellbeing and public health.
Within EPRUMA best practice guidelines, the role of vaccination has always been highlighted. Through this document, EPRUMA partners wish to raise awareness on the benefits of vaccination, and recommend best practices for vaccine use to ensure optimal animal health. Infectious disease prevention can be achieved through a combination of measures, such as biosecurity, proper hygiene, feeding, husbandry conditions ensuring animal welfare, surveillance for presence of pathogens through animal and environmental testing, and immunisation through vaccination. Vaccination has been an essential tool over the years for preventing a wide range of infectious diseases. For some of these diseases, such as rabies, vaccination still remains the only solution we have to protect animals and people. By helping to eradicate and control infectious diseases, vaccination improves animal health and reduces the need for treatment, while contributing to food safety and public health.
Nevertheless, the benefits of vaccination have been questioned recently by antivaccine pressure groups. A survey conducted among citizens in 2016 showed that 66% of respondents believe pets should be vaccinated, while only 54% think the same applies to farm animals. Over 40% of them replied they didn’t know that animal vaccination prevents the transfer of infectious disease from animals to humans. This shows a lack of awareness about the link between vaccination of animals against certain diseases, such as rabies, listeriosis, salmonellosis, etc. and public health, or of the fact that vaccination of farm animals plays an important role in the production of safe food.