COMPETITION is hotting up in the animal health market with news that Kernfarm, a Dutch pharmaceutical firm, is to widen vaccine choice to the British agricultural and veterinary industry. UK farmers will soon be able to access a wider spectrum of animal health vaccines, improving competition and choice in what was traditionally a relatively closed sector, it said.

This follows the successful licensing of established international vaccines by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, allowing for the import and sale of new products in the UK.

“There are only a few large veterinary pharmaceutical companies operating in the UK – many smaller firms have tried to obtain access to the market in the past and failed because the regulation is so difficult,” explained Kernfarm director, Tim van Rijn. “But we are selecting the best vaccines out there, all with more than 10 years’ proven use.”

Kernfarm has registered six vaccines over the past year from three different firms and has another 10 in the pipeline. The latest success was a vaccine for mycoplasma synoviae – a disease which causes respiratory infections in poultry – produced by Italian firm Fatro. Despite being one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Europe, with a portfolio of more than 60 vaccines, Fatro had never managed to get its products registered in the UK.

Kernfarm isn’t just looking to bring EU vaccines to British producers – the US and other countries have established brands which could fill the gaps in the UK market. “We recently succeeded in getting a mycoplasma bovis vaccine from the US temporarily licensed under special dispensation (SIC) for use in the UK,” added Mr van Rijn.