World Animal Vaccination Day 2016 - Press release HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association are pleased to launch the first annual World Animal Vaccination Day, taking place on Wednesday 20 April 2016. World Animal Vaccination Day will raise awareness of the vital role vaccines play in protecting the health of animals and, as a result, people too. Each year will have a different theme, and the inaugural day will focus on the importance of cat vaccination and keeping these vaccines up to date. E.g. thanks to widespread vaccination less than 1-2% of healthy cats in the world have feline leukaemia[1] . 75% of all new human pathogens originate from animals, and so vaccines are key to limiting the future spread of infectious diseases between animals to people around the world. Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, Executive Director at HealthforAnimals says: “The benefits of vaccination are manifold. Vaccination not only protects animal health and improves welfare through reduced disease, it is also vital to protect human health. For instance, vaccinating just 70% of the dog population is enough to eliminate the risk of rabies infections in people. Vaccination of food-producing animals helps to ensure a safe and sustainable supply of protein, which is especially important as the population continues to grow.” Dr René Carlson, President of the World Veterinary Association added: “Cats receive much less attention from preventive healthcare, including vaccination, than most other domestic species. The primary reason is that around 50% of cat owners only visit a veterinarian when their cats are sick or injured. However, vaccination helps to protect your cat against several serious and/or life-threatening diseases and is the most effective and least expensive method to keep cats healthy in the first place. Decisions about vaccines for cats are based on the cat’s age, lifestyle, contact with other cats and the availability of licensed vaccines in the country, so it is important to discuss what vaccines your cat needs with your local veterinarian.” HealthforAnimals HealthforAnimals is an organisation representing manufacturers of veterinary medicines, vaccines and other animal health products in both developed and developing countries across five continents. The mission of HealthforAnimals is to foster a greater understanding of animal health matters and promote a predictable, science-based regulatory environment that facilitates the supply of innovative and quality animal medicines, vaccines and other animal health products into a competitive market place. These products contribute to a healthy and safe food supply as well as a high standard of health and welfare for animals and people. For further information on HealthforAnimals visit:  World Veterinary Association The WVA represents around 500.000 veterinarians around the world through its member associations and is recognised and respected as the trusted and influential voice of global veterinary medicine. The WVA mission is to assure and promote animal health and welfare and public health globally, through developing and advancing veterinary medicine, the veterinary profession as well as public and private veterinary services. For further information: