The Brussels-based International Federation for Animal Health, a global association for veterinary product manufacturers announced Monday that it has changed its name to HealthforAnimals. The name change reflects the mission that the organization has undertaken as an umbrella group for animal health associations across the world, according to George Heidgerken, global head of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, who was elected president of HealthforAnimals this year.
HealthforAnimals brings together experts from animal health companies, government bodies, and food-production organizations to establish positions on such topics as food safety, disease prevention, and innovation in pet health. It has also become a major advocate of One Health, a worldwide effort to foster research collaborations between scientists working in animal and human health. The organization changed its name and logo to better communicate its mission, according to a press release.
|HealthforAnimals president George Heidgerken|
Heidgerken says the new identity for HealthforAnimals will help the organization accomplish its goals for the future. "We absolutely need to bring more innovative new solutions to animal health problems to the market that will ultimately…build a sustainable, higher-quality food source to the world," he said in a video accompanying the announcement. "We also have to consider that pets are a big part of our lives, and having our pets live longer, healthier, and happier lives [is] very very important."
He added, "by preventing disease in our animals--in our pets, in our livestock--in fact, we're preventing disease in people. So we see this as One Health. Health for animals means health for people."
The One Health movement has been catching on of late, thanks to support from organizations such as HealthforAnimals, as well as such companies as Zoetis ($ZTS). In March, at a conference in Amsterdam, Zoetis put out a call for more partnerships between veterinarians, physicians and scientists aimed at speeding up the development of preventative measures and cures for diseases that affect both people and animals. The International Federation for Animal Health Europe, one of HealthforAnimal's member organizations, joined Zoetis in advocating for a more collaborative research approach.
- here's the press release from HealthforAnimals
- watch the HealthforAnimals video