Secure and implement innovation and technological advances for animal health

Federal Animal Health Association eV

Bonn (ots)

Immunology solutions and digital technologies for animal health: These two main themes created the framework for professional discourse at the Federal Association for Animal Health eV (BfT) Spring event on May 5 in Berlin. The main question of the event: How can innovation in the field of animal health be enabled and promoted, taking into account the main concerns of society regarding animal welfare or sustainability?

The animal health industry can and will make a significant contribution to key societal challenges. At the Spring BfT event, it was agreed that innovation was essential. Disease prevention, along with monitoring, early detection and diagnosis as well as infection control, is of increasing importance. From a broad spectrum, a section of immunological solutions and digital technologies were presented, and obstacles to progress were discussed.

professor Dr. In his presentation, Martin Beer, head of the Virus Diagnostic Institute at the Federal Institute for Animal Health Research (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut), characterized the development of innovative vaccines as an area of ​​veterinary medicine whose advanced level is currently being tracked by human medicine due to the corona pandemic. Veterinary research meets the special requirements of vaccine prophylaxis in animals with a wide spectrum of pathogens, various forms of application and the need for inexpensive solutions with innovative solutions. Sometimes the classic killed pathogen vaccine could be the gold standard and modern concepts such as mRNA vaccines that were considered 10 years ago, for example against avian influenza, should be considered. still lagging behind, while the practice of, for example, is the use of DNA vaccines in fish or the development of egg vaccinations or poultry spraying.

Looking to the future, prof. Beer highlighted the enormous potential for innovation in developing new vaccine technologies. In particular, methods and discoveries in the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering open up new possibilities and are essential in immune prophylaxis. To make progress in this regard, rethinking is needed to help remove barriers to research, development and validation, says Prof. Beer. For example, platform technologies now offer the ability to rapidly adapt to changing pathogens in the field. One step forward is to facilitate this approval process with new rules on veterinary medicinal products. He emphasized that close cooperation between various scientific disciplines must now be a response to the epidemic situation that is developing dynamically as a result of climate change and globalization. The targeted development of quasi in silico vaccines will take up more and more space. He also mentioned the important role that the global digital network plays in, for example, tracking and containing epidemics. However, pathogen analysis is still crucial. Without the ability to distinguish the primary component of the immune response, the development of an effective vaccine is difficult. At this point, it is necessary to mention, inter alia, the difficulties in the development of vaccines against ASF or effective vaccines for more complex bacterial and parasitic pathogens. It is also important in disease control to be able to distinguish between vaccinated and infected animals to avoid covert spread and overcome barriers to trade.

also Dr. Reinhard Reents, head of United Information Systems Animal Hosbandry (vit) and co-founder of the data transfer organization International Dairy Data Exchange Network GmbH (iDDEN GmbH), placed digitization as important. He illustrated the progress in the field of digitization in animal husbandry and breeding with the example of dairy cattle. Standardized and individual data collection from over 100 million head of cattle in databases enables effective barn and livestock management. Correct data sets allow conclusions to be drawn on performance and health parameters that are used to further develop immunity and animal health by controlling breeding. As a result of these activities, the progress in breeding has been more than twice as large. Collecting data from the times of competing organizations in a central database enables high-quality data to be obtained, but without socializing it. Operational self-control can be simplified with the specially developed Q-Check quality control system. Cloud-based solutions allow real-time access and thus direct access to the vet responsible for the inventory. This can provide valuable information on animal welfare and animal health that can underpin animal husbandry strategy measures. The International Dairy Data Exchange Network enables global and, above all, standardized data exchange. Necessary elements of farmers’ trust in the systems are the preservation of data sovereignty for the individual farm and the clarification of disposition and use rights.

Frank Cordes gave practical insight into the successful introduction of the latest technology on his dairy farm with over 700 cows in northern Germany. Its operational practice is based, inter alia, on the concepts of efficient use and evaluation of data and disease prevention through regular vaccination. He regularly develops and verifies these concepts in close cooperation with his farm’s veterinarian and agricultural advisors.

make possible progress

“The idealized image of a cow in a mountain pasture is not up to date. A modern, sustainable company with sound technological solutions can ensure animal welfare with an optimized economic balance, “emphasizes Dr. Franziska Kersten, veterinarian and SPD Member of the Bundestag, in a moderated interview following the lectures: According to Dr. Kersten, animal welfare is poor conceivable without regard to animal health ”.

Progress requires a high degree of readiness for change and communication on the part of all parties involved. Thanks to the close collaboration of science and research, and the use of digital networks and global, standardized, real-time data collection, great steps can be taken to further improve animal health. Even during a pandemic, it is important not to lose the attention of science to veterinary medicine so as not to slow down progress. One Health’s structures and networks can be used effectively. Severe epidemics are making the calls for vaccines to fight them louder and louder. A current example is bird flu with highly pathogenic strains (avian flu) over the past two years. BMEL has announced that it will look into integrating vaccination into animal disease control as soon as new animal health legislation is in place.

At the end of the event, BfT CEO Jörg Hannemann concluded that innovation and technological advances in animal health can provide answers to changing societal expectations and current challenges. Disease prevention is a key factor for the health and well-being of pets and livestock and ultimately a prerequisite for sustainable and responsible social action and collaboration within the meaning of “One Health”. Promoting research and development in the sector, creating acceptance for new technologies and networking, especially for digital options, are important starting points. A stable framework is certainly the legal basis, but only the necessary flexibility and agility enable the development of innovative approaches. according to Hannemann, it must now be a shared responsibility of all partners in the sector.

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Additional information:

Federal Association for Animal Health eV
Dr. Sabine Schüller, Koblenzer Str. 121-123, 53177 Bonn,
tel. 0228/31 82 96, e-mail,

Original content from: Bundesverband für Tiergesundheit eV, provided by news aktell

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