Professor Peter Borriello, former chief executive at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), has become the 6th recipient of the Special National Office for Animal Health (NOAH) Award for the Contribution to Animal Health. The award was presented by NOAH Chair Caitrina Oakes on behalf of the NOAH Board and its members, at NOAH’s conference on “Sustainability, innovation and the role of animal health”.
Presenting the award, Caitrina explained how the VMD’s primary role was to protect public health, animal health and the environment, with all these intertwined.
She said: “During your tenure as Chief Executive, with your science-based principles and global vision, the VMD has been achieving this through being mindful of the need for a thriving UK animal health industry to innovate on a global stage.
“Times have been challenging – the UK’s exit from the EU has meant much work was needed to help ensure consistent availability of veterinary medicines to UK vets, farmers and pet owners. In a similar manner, the COVID-19 pandemic added another unexpected layer of complexity to supply chains.
“Responsible use of antibiotics benefits us all, with improved animal health and welfare as well as ensuring the long-term safety, efficacy and availability of authorised veterinary antibiotics. The VMD has been a key driver in the One Health challenge of antibiotic resistance, alongside other stakeholders such as the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance. Under your leadership, the usage of antibiotics by UK vets and farmers has decreased substantially while measures to prevent disease, such as vaccination, have grown.
“Of course, health challenges such as antibiotic resistance and new and emerging diseases such as COVID-19 do not respect borders, and this brings us to another milestone achievement of the VMD under your leadership: the establishment of the VMD’s Safe Medicines for Animals through regulatory training (aka SMArt) programme charity.
“This initiative provides expert training programmes around the world to help build global capacity in responsible governance for the regulation, manufacture, distribution and use of safe and effective veterinary medicines with the associated benefits for the health and welfare of people, animals and the environment – a truly innovative approach from a regulatory authority.”
In recognition of the award, NOAH will be making a donation to the SMArt charity.