World Animal Vaccination Day – April 20th – has come and gone without too much of the scratching, biting, bleating or pecking that usually takes place when there’s a syringe or a vet present.

There may a bit of extra wound licking going on at the moment, but owners, and the animal health industry, will be happy, and our pets and livestock healthier – even if they fail to exhibit gratitude for what was meant as a helping hand, not a hand to be attacked.

This annual event was launched by the World Veterinary Association to raise awareness of the vital role that vaccines play in protecting the health of animals and, as a result, people too.

IFAH-Europe Secretary General Roxane Feller commented that, when it came to success stories where animal vaccines protect public health, we only need to look at the case of Salmonella.

“The use of vaccines in poultry to protect against Salmonella, along with other management measures, saw human cases reduced by almost 50 percent in the EU since 2004, with the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry decreasing at the same time,” she added.

All-around benefits

So vaccination is not only about helping our feathered or furry friends. Where food-producing animals are concerned, it helps to ensure a safe and sustainable supply of protein, and can also help to reduce use of some medicines, such as antibiotics, where concerns about resistance continue to grow.

The good eggs at the World Veterinary Association won’t have ruffled any feathers this year, as 2016 saw the first World Animal Vaccination Day focus its beady eye on cats, but any chickens reading this had better watch out – it could be your turn soon!