Due to the growing population of the U.S., pet ownership doubled from 65 million households in 1970 and reached approximately 160 million households in 2012. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in 2012, 47% of the total households had at least one dog within their families in the U.S. There were also 83.3 million owned-dogs within the country in the same year. Additionally, there were 46% of the total households having at least one cat, and 96 million owned-cats in the country in 2012.
Australia is one of the countries having the highest rate of pet ownership globally. According to the Australian Veterinary Association, in 2013, there were 4.2 million dogs and 3.3 million cats accounting for 39% and 29% market shares respectively in the country. Approximately 27% of the dogs and 20% of the cats in the country have been insured with health insurance by their owners.
Some of the transmissible diseases, such as zoonosis, in vertebrate animals can be transferred indirectly or directly to humans. If consumers digest worm through undercooked or raw infected fish, they can get infected with anisakiasis. In animals, food borne zoonotic diseases are spread due to consuming food or water contaminated with pathogenic microorganism, such as campylobacter, brucellosis, listeria, parasites, anisakiasis, and salmonella.
The increasing prevalence of zoonotic and food borne diseases has raised the concern of animal farm owners and pet owners for the health of their animals. In the U.S. and other countries, brucellosis (bacterial infection) is increasing, which causes still birth or abortion in animals. The bacterial infection generally affects goats and livestock animals, such as cows and sheep.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), about 320,000 cases of zoonotic and food borne diseases are registered every year in the European Union. The most common zoonosis observed in animals is campylobacteriosis, which affected around 220,000 people in 2012 in the European Union (EU) countries. Due to animal care initiatives taken by the animal owning population in the European Union countries, the salmonellosis cases in humans had decreased by 5.4% during 2010-2012.
Some of the major companies operating in the global animal healthcare market include Zoetis, Merck, Merial, Bayer, Virbac, Ceva Sante Animal S.A., Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Elanco, and Vetoquinol.
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