Global Trends in the Animal Health Sector

The last few years was one of growth for the animal health sector. Global changes like population growth, public health, pet adoption, and sustainable societies have made good animal health more essential than ever before. The sector’s growth has been resilient over the past decade as industry fundamentals evolve. The value of the global animal health sector increased by 12% to $38.3 billion in 2021 with sales increasing across all geographies.

Looking ahead into 2023 and beyond, this article analyses major trends and expectations related to the animal health sector. Many of these trends will further accelerate in the coming years.

Growing Demand for Animal Protein

More people with more spending power are demanding more animal protein. Demand for all types of animal protein skyrocketing. The OECD and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate that livestock and fish production will increase 14% from 2020–2030. In richer countries, milk, egg, fish and white meat consumption is growing and in most of the emerging world there are strong consumption increases in all categories.

Sustainably meeting this demand will require better farm health to reduce livestock losses and improve efficiency. For some regions, this starts with greater uptake of vaccination, while in others better use of diagnostics and emerging digital tools can offer precision health.

Growing Pet Populations and Growing Spend

Global pet populations are also rising, while owners are investing more in pet care. This is the case in large developed markets but also in emerging markets where growth in middle-class populations is making pet ownership more common. Foundational tools like vaccination, parasiticides and diagnostics are essential to protect pets and safeguard the surrounding household against the fleas, ticks, illnesses and other hazards that animals can bring home. Emerging technologies in areas like immunotherapies and digital technologies are allowing pets to share longer, healthier lives with their owners.

Growing Disease Pressure

Recent years have seen a marked increase in the threat of deadly animal diseases. Illnesses like African Swine Fever continue to spread across Asia, while Avian Influenza is leading to the culling of hundreds of millions of birds across the globe. The incidence of animal disease creates significant economic and societal costs, which is spurring greater investment in and public support for animal health. The likelihood of pathogen spread is also increasing with significantly more trade, travel and transport of humans and animals. More food is also traded, for example, poultry trade was up by 520% over the last 20 years.

There is also a significant relationship between animal disease and human disease with 13 zoonoses being the source of 2.4b cases of human illness and 2.2m deaths a year. Healthier animals lead to healthier humans and there are dramatic improvements in both to be made with a OneHealth mindset.