Responsibility and Integrity
At MSD Animal Health we believe our responsibilities to wider society extend beyond our primary goals as a business. We are committed to raising standards and to adding value wherever we can — in the food chain, for the animals which benefit from our products and, on a broader level, to the environment and wider society as a whole. We strive to conduct our business in such a way as to maximize its social, environmental and economic benefits and encourage our employees to apply these fundamental principles in all aspects of their professional lives.
MSD Animal Health is involved in a number of areas where we believe we can contribute to improving people’s lives and the world we live in. We focus on areas in which our scientific expertise, products and people can really make a difference to everyday lives and to raising professional standards.
Forging the Link
Child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence is still considered amongst some to be a taboo subject, but this is an area where MSD has been instrumental in helping to promote the awareness of the links in order to help safeguard the welfare of children, animals and vulnerable adults. The ‘Link’ involved is the tragic association between non-accidental injury of animals too frequently observed by veterinary surgeons; and abuse of children or others in the home. The initiative aims to break this cycle by forging links between the different agencies involved in abuse prevention. The continued development of the company’s Forging the Link initiative is the result of years of hard work and loyalty to supporting an area of human and animal intervention, in a bid to save lives in the process.
During this time significant milestones have been achieved including the introduction of a ground-breaking national working party within the animal and human health sectors. This pioneering group was set up to bring the subject of child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence to the fore. The Links Group consists of the RSPCA, NSPCC, Women’s Aid and other leading authorities, including MSD, to raise awareness of the connection of violence and helping to make a difference.
Educating our own profession about the link is paramount and MSD has been spearheading a campaign amongst veterinary student to raise awareness of the problem. The company has been running a series of enlightening seminars at UK veterinary schools to help educate students in the identification of non-accidental injury cases in practice. The programme is designed to highlight the link between abuse of animals and humans and give students guidance about what to do if faced with a case in practice.
And, with MSD Animal Health’s help, there have been a couple of significant breakthroughs in terms of support and advice. First and foremost, the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct now contains a section on ‘animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence’. Secondly, a booklet, published by the NSPCC has been produced in conjunction with all members of The Links Group called ‘Understanding the links, child abuse, animal abuse and family violence – information for professionals’.
The ‘Afya Serengeti’ project -Tanzania
Our commitment to the ‘Afya Serengeti’ project, which means ‘health of Serengeti’ in Swahili, continues unabated. Each year we donate 200,000 doses of rabies vaccine to the project to support the ongoing preventative campaign to combat rabies among the domestic dog population in the Serengeti. This, in turn, has reaped tremendous benefits, both for humans by reducing the incidence of rabid dog bites and for wildlife. Latest research reveals the resurgence of the African wild dog population – a species that was close to extinction – within the Serengeti National Park.
Closer to home, tomorrow’s vets are a key focus for the company and to help assist students during their college years, Connect has been running as an educational and support service since 1992. The initiative can provide educational material to students upon request and it can also arrange for one of the company’s veterinary surgeons to make a presentation on a range of clinical topics from endocrinology or parasitology to infectious diseases or farm management.
In addition, the company operates the Connect Bursary Award which provides financial assistance for veterinary students wishing to undertake worthwhile research over the summer break, both in the UK and abroad. The award enables students to gain skills that will be directly transferable to those needed in their future careers and experience veterinary medicine in new and sometimes challenging environments.
Please click here for more information.
Dieter Lϋtticken Award
Our annual Dieter Lütticken Award honors researchers who have contributed significantly to reducing animal use in research and in testing the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines. The latest award went to a team that developed an in vitro potency test for the routine quality control of inactivated Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccines.
MSD Animal Health welcomes submissions from all scientists and life-science research institutions, excluding commercial organisations. Please click here for more information.
In case you are aware of interesting research in this field, please contact Global Communications Animal Health, Boxmeer, The Netherlands, communications@Intervet.com.