BOXMEER, the Netherlands, August 10, 2011 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada), formerly known as Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, announced today that it has donated about US $30,000 (¥2,3 million) to three veterinary and farmer associations in Japan to support recovery of the Japanese animal sector following the earthquake and tsunami as well as its consequences that have struck the country in March 2011. The disaster had an immense impact on the healthcare situation of the pet, pig and livestock sectors.
Merck Animal Health has made the donation available to three important stakeholders in the Japanese animal sector for further coordination, being the Japan Veterinary Medical Association, the Japan Pork Producers Association and the Regional Livestock Industry Promotional Council.
The Japan Veterinary Medical Association works for the restoration of the veterinary care supply at the afflicted area. The donation will be used for support to and re-establishment of the pet shelter and veterinary facilities. The Japanese Pork Producers Association and the Japanese Livestock Industry Promotion Council will allocate the support based on the degree of damage in the afflicted region and the funds will also be used to restore businesses which were severely damaged due to ruined barns, feed factories, and the evacuate order away from the disaster area.
“After the international community has provided support during the acute phase of the disaster, for example via shipment of emergency supplies of veterinary medicines and the activities of first responders, it is equally important to continue to support the Japanese animal health and associated sector in order to accelerate the recovery of this economically important category. We trust that via this donation we can contribute to the Japanese society, enabling them to overcome this difficult situation,” said Leopoldo Nanni, Vice President, Head of Asia-Pacific-Sub Sahara Africa at Merck Animal Health.
The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan have caused widespread devastation that affected many of the country’s agricultural sector. The nuclear crisis that followed, and the subsequent detection of radioactive contamination in the food chain, further raised concerns about the safety of Japan’s food production systems. The affected coastal prefectures are important to Japan’s food-producing sector; before the disaster (based on 2007 USDA figures*) the region was responsible for approximately 17 percent of total national livestock production, representing an annual economic output value of approximately US $5.5 billion (¥425 billion). Moreover, as many people still live in evacuation centers, there is an ongoing need for pet shelter facilities.
* Johnson R. Japan’s 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agricultural Implications. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, May 18, 2011.