The animal health industry represents a $30 billion global market with insecticides accounting for approx. $6 billion of this. In order to continue to feed an ever-increasing population in a sustainable way an increase in animal agricultural production is inevitable. Meat is an important source of nutrition for many people globally, with meat production quadrupling over the past 50 years (UN food and agriculture organisation; http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/?#data/).
At a global level we see that the dominant livestock types are poultry, cattle (which includes beef and buffalo meat), pig, and sheep & goat to a lesser extent. However, the distribution of meat types varies significantly across the world; in some countries, other meat types such as wild game, horse, and duck can account for a significant share of total production.
Animal parasiticides are substances used in agriculture and by veterinary medicine to kill parasites that infest livestock, pets and other animals. Ectoparasiticides used in livestock, horses and pets were primarily discovered and introduced initially as insecticides for agricultural production. The same chemical classes of insecticides are in use for both categories.
Parasiticides are categorised into the following:
- Ectoparasiticides – control external parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, lice and fleas
- Endoparasiticides – control internal parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms and fluke
The use of animal parasiticides has resulted in an improvement in the health of livestock and pets across the globe. Growing awareness regarding animal diseases has meant the animal parasiticides market is growing significantly in both the livestock and companion animal segments.
As an example, there is a significant ongoing issue with Cattle ticks which represent a major expense to the global livestock industry. Approx. 80% of cattle are exposed to these ectoparasites, which can result in significant reductions in both weight and milk production as well as death of the animal. The estimated cost of treatment to the Australian cattle industry alone +A$175m a year, with India spending ~US$499m annually. Without control mechanisms it has been estimated the US cattle industry’s losses would amount to ~US$1bn annually, with global losses estimated to be between US$13.9-19.7bn annually
The global market for parasiticide use in pets has been estimated at over US$4.2 billion in 2014. Parasiticide use in production animals is anticipated to be a larger market size given the scope of agriculture globally. As an indication, for Europe alone, the market is estimated to be €1.7 billion for livestock parasiticides.
Bio-Gene Technology continues to work closely with its collaborators on various Animal Health pests (including flies, mites and ticks) to work towards a product in this vertical.