Here we can explore the animal health industry, how it works, the impact of trends in specialisation, risk aversion, and medical technology, and the symbiotic relationships between its satellite sectors: pharmaceutical, pathology, agribusiness, and pet food manufacturing.For the paranoid amongst you, sorry, there is no grand conspiracy to enslave the people through addiction to pet ownership, make their animals sick, and then keep them chronically hooked on specialised diets and expensive medication.
Rather than an exposè, I hope this is more an honest account of the complex relationships between sectors, acknowledging the commercial context in which we must operate, how this affects the philosophies of medicine, the direction of medical inquiry, the information both vets and owners receive, and the way these ultimately impact on the management of animal disease.
. A good starting point for this conversation is agreement that individual vets, food and drug sales representatives, university and industry researchers, and even CEO’s, come to the table with a common interest in keeping your animals healthy, or productive in the case of our farmyard friends.
.With the exception of certain Chinese pet food manufacturers, there is a genuine belief that our service or product is a safe and effective one, and would be disappointed to hear otherwise. Everyone wants a good outcome, while preserving their slice of the commercial cake.
.If you exclude the homeless, euthanased early in life, the statistics reveal the collective efforts of the pet and vet industries have Fido and Felix living longer than ever before. Our hens, pigs and cows are out-producing their grandparents. There has been a major benefit to animal welfare by some measures, but maybe not all.
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