Animal health companies make significant strides in addressing antibiotic resistance


Over the previous 2 years, the animal health sector has created 49 new vaccines and invested $10 billion in research and development as an initiative to help reduce the need for antibiotics.

Carrie /

Carrie /

Animal health companies have invested $10 billion in veterinary research and developed 49 new vaccines in the past 2 years, contributing to an industry-wide initiative to help decrease the need for antibiotics.1

Delivering 100 new vaccines by 2025 was among the 25 commitments made by the world’s largest animal health companies in a Roadmap to Reducing the Need for Antibiotics2 published in 2019 by HealthforAnimals. They are on track or ahead of schedule across each of their commitments, including training more than 100,000 veterinarians in responsible antibiotic use.1 Animal health companies are strategizing how to grow and continuously add to these targets to help reduce the burden on antibiotics.1

“The Roadmap is unique across the health industries for setting measurable targets and regular status updates on our efforts to address antibiotic resistance,” said Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, executive director of HealthforAnimals, in a company release.3

“Few, if any, have set these types of traceable goals and the progress to date shows how seriously animal health companies are taking our responsibility to tackle this collective challenge, which poses a threat to lives and livelihoods around the world,” he added.

The new vaccinations offer increased protection against disease for an array of animal species (ie, cattle, poultry, swine, fish, pets), thus validating that the industry is halfway toward its vaccine target. Further, these new inoculations are vital to preserving essential medicines for urgent human and animal use, and reducing the risk of drug resistance developing by preventing animal diseases (eg, salmonella, bovine respiratory disease, infectious bronchitis) that could otherwise lead to antibiotic treatment.

What's more, the sector has launched a series of preventative products to limit livestock disease. It has also produced 17 new diagnostic tools out of a target of 20 for earlier prevention, detection, and treatment of diseases, and 7 nutritional supplements that support immune systems.1

Additionally, the sector developed 3 new antibiotics in the same period, demonstrating the prioritized investment in creating products that prevent illness and the need for antibiotics, to begin with. The industry also helped train more than 650,000 veterinary professionals and offered more than $6.5 million in scholarships to veterinary students in the last 2 years.3

The next Roadmap for Reducing the Need for Antibiotics progress report is expected in 2023.


  1. Reports: Roadmap progress report. HealthforAnimals. Accessed November 18, 2021.
  2. Roadmap to reducing the need for antibiotics. HealthforAnimals. Accessed November 18, 2021.
  3. Animal health companies ahead of schedule in delivering on 25 target commitments to help address antibiotic resistance. News release. HealthforAnimals. November 17, 2021. Accessed November 18, 2021.
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