David Ellerton, managing director of Virbac, has been elected chairman of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH).
Setting out his priorities for the year ahead, he said: “For a start, we look to Europe as we await publication of the draft revision to the Directive of the European Veterinary Medicines legislation.
“The new rules may come in the form of a regulation, rather than a directive, meaning they are applied ‘straight from the box’ across each member state. We believe this to be an opportunity and are eager to get the ball rolling.”
He said antimicrobial resistance was also a priority. Last year, NOAH, together with the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), the NFU and the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, gave evidence at an inquiry into antimicrobial resistance undertaken by the House of Commons select committee on science and technology and they awaited its findings with interest.
“Supporting our members is a third area of focus,” said Mr Ellerton. “Initiatives such as the NOAH Certificate of Animal Health (NCAH) give our field staff a thorough grounding in animal physiology, animal disease and treatment options, as well as a full knowledge of the legal framework in which medicines are regulated, advertised and sold.
“We need to spread the word about the NCAH – it is something we should be proud of and that our customers should be aware of.”
He added: “Finally, we must work together to build understanding of the role of animal medicines.
“There is still a huge opportunity to grow the number of animals benefiting from medicines. If we can develop strategies to deliver this growth, not only will we help our members and our colleagues in the veterinary profession, but we will also increase animal welfare and enable owners to enjoy the companionship of their pets for longer.
“There is much to do but the opportunity is great and I am honoured to serve NOAH as its chairman at such an exciting time.”
He thanked the staff and officer team at NOAH for their work over the past year.