Livestock farming and the new CAP 2023-2027, between critical issues and opportunities

The Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies presented in Brussels the National Strategic Plan (Psn) for the implementation of the CAP 2023-2027 which sets up a unitary strategy for our country on direct payments, common organizations of market, rural development, the Pnrr and which put livestock farming at the centre. This was discussed during the round table “The new CAP 2023-2027 – future scenarios for the livestock sector”, organized by Assocarni and Coldiretti with the unconditional contribution of Msd Santé Animale. (see EFA News article of 17-2-22).

Thanks to the participation of the main actors of the sector, and of some representatives of the institutions, an important discussion table was opened on the various strategic objectives of the new CAP, its declension in the national strategic plan of the CAP and the repercussions which result across the entire supply chain, including increasing competitiveness, rebalancing the distribution of power in the food supply chain, acting to combat climate change, protecting the environment, safeguarding landscapes and biodiversity, support generational change, develop dynamic rural areas, protect food quality and health.

New agricultural policies stem from growing public attention to issues such as One Health, which sees the environment, animal and human welfare as intertwined. The European Farm To Fork strategy has set clear targets on sensitive issues such as the management of agropharmaceuticals, antibiotics and emissions of climate-altering gases. It is therefore inevitable that this ambition will influence the common agricultural policy, and consequently the livestock sector.

EFA News interviewed Paul SaniManaging Director of Msd Animal Health on the subject.

The company is globally committed to preserving and improving animal health and welfare through science. It offers veterinarians, farmers and animal owners the widest range of veterinary drugs, vaccines and good health management solutions. The company invests heavily in extensive and dynamic R&D and a modern supply chain. MSD Animal Health is headquartered in the United States, New Jersey, and has global sales of $3.9 billion. To date, the company is a leader in the vaccines sector and in all segments, with the exception of companion animals, the company has over time developed drugs for animal health through the use of specific molecules .

In Italy, Msd Animal Health is present in Milan with a subsidiary with 50 employees, in the area with a sales force made up of 71 professionals and in Aprilia with a production site with 92 employees. Its annual investment is 17% of its turnover in R&D. It should be noted that in the past year alone, around 630 million doses of vaccines were sold, with an increase of around 20% compared to 2015.

The theme of animal welfare includes the effort to reduce drugs and antibiotics: what role do producers and MSD in particular play?

“Each company has its own strategies and objectives. For several years, Msd has focused its investments in research, on the development of products for the prevention of diseases. In the last seven / eight years, we have invested more than 20% of our turnover in research and development for the creation of new vaccines. In the Italian market, 87% of MSD’s turnover is prevention. If we compare these figures with those of ten years ago, we will see that they were fifty fifty, it was half therapy and half prevention .. because strategic choices were made starting first from prevention and then from animal monitoring. studies on the development of antibiotic products have been abandoned. What we do in practice is to try to bring prevention products to the market, essentially vaccines. We are also trying to spread the concept of the conscious use of antibiotics. Therefore, the antibiotic is a therapeutic product. ngola, not through mass therapies. We showed that we are against the concept of mass therapy already seven years ago, by practically divesting ourselves of a range of antibiotic products composed of various molecules that were used in drinking water and food, for mass therapies of pigs and chickens. We therefore believe that even the antibiotic is an essential tool for animal welfare, because when an animal is sick, it must be treated and it is therefore part, even if in a reduced way, of our portfolio. We have also created trainings for veterinarians in various sectors such as poultry, pigs and ruminants, to spread this conscious use of the antibiotic”.

How important is collaboration between all actors in the supply chain and what is One Health in practice?

“Our agro-zootechnical world has changed very rapidly over the last five/seven years. Each company has defined what its priorities and objectives should be. This is not possible because in the end we only have one customer who is called a consumer. And it is not possible for the consumer to achieve ten different visions or different concepts. So it is crucial to create a system and focus on certain pillars that can help our whole industry We have agreed with others in our market that One Health could be the most important concept to get across to the consumer One Health means healthier animals Therefore we will have healthier food and Above all, we will respect what the environment is, because investing in prevention means not spreading substances rich in active ingredients such as antibiotics into the environment,” explained Sani.

The European project Farm to Fork and One Health, what do they have in common?

“The EU From Farm to Fork project, which seems very theoretical, for Msd is actually very clear and very practical. Take the example of a farmer who has animals, such as cattle. Msd is able to identify them immediately. first with a machine or an electronic system.These animals are then subjected to a series of vaccinations for the prevention of the most important diseases such as Pastorellosis or hybrids.Therefore, they can be monitored thanks to a technological system that we indicates how many meters per day, when they sit, how much they drink, how much they eat, how much they ruminate… So much information that can anticipate possible pathologies.We are therefore able to bring these animals to the slaughterhouse which will be transformed into steaks. The end consumer who goes to buy the Florentine at the supermarket, on the basis of this traceability, he will learn about the whole history of the animal”, he added.

“This path makes our finished products even stronger and helps us to defend what is made in Italy. We have special productions. Our 180 kilo pig is used to make ham. In other parts of the world they slaughter 110 kilos to make sausages. So, I repeat, the Farm to Fork is the concrete example of what One Health means. Because we are able to monitor the whole health of the animal, to know its life, to guarantee the consumer a healthy and high quality product, with proof of how this animal lived, how it was treated and also to assess the parameters of animal welfare”, concluded Sani.

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