The South African veterinary medicine market size was valued at USD 116.96 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% from 2021 to 2028. The growing need to safeguard the health of livestock animals, increasing incidence of diseases in animals, initiatives by market participants, and improving awareness regarding animal health are some of the key drivers of this market. In August 2021, MSD distributed 27,000 doses of Bravecto spot-on products for dogs and cats, as part of its #BravectoCares campaign in South Africa. This boosted its market presence while promoting awareness regarding MSD’s products.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the South African market for veterinary medicine. The effects included low demand and sales in certain product segments resulting from reduced vet visits, supply chain challenges, reduced sales and marketing activities, and lockdown protocols. Some key market players registered net profits in specific product segments. For example, during its Q3 earnings release, Zoet reported a 13% higher revenue compared to the third quarter of the previous year. This was attributed to its companion animal parasiticide product as well as the company’s key dermatology portfolio. Virbac reported 4.5% growth in Africa and the Middle East region in 2020 mainly owing to the food-producing animal segment, with the sheep and cattle parasiticides range, and antibiotics.
The rising incidence of disease outbreaks is a key driver for the market. According to OIE, an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry was reported in South Africa in April 2021. 29,000 poultry birds were identified to be at risk of contracting the disease, which can significantly impact the safety of food stock as well as the productivity of animals. Between July 2020 and December 2020, 14 outbreaks of low pathogenic avian influenza were recorded across the country with cases exceeding 200 birds. The increasing prevalence of similar diseases across animal types is expected to propel the demand for veterinary medicines, such as pharmaceuticals and biologics.
Initiatives by private and public health institutions to promote animal health, such as those undertaken by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, are also expected to fuel market growth in the near future. The One Health Program was established in South Africa in cooperation with several partner organizations, including the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), National Department of Health (NDoH), human and veterinary health institutes, public and private clinicians, academic researchers, and veterinarians. The program aims to strengthen surveillance and research on zoonosis that may potentially lead to notable morbidity and mortality in humans and animals and ecological factors involved in their emergence and transmission.
Many key companies are involved in R&D, launching new products targeting various disease conditions, deploying initiatives to raise awareness about animal health and medications, and partnerships and expansions to strengthen their market presence. Brand value is a key factor contributing to the buying decisions of customers. Market players invest in various sales and marketing activities to increase brand and product awareness to leverage this opportunity. These strategies include translation and/or pictorial adaptation of package inserts and labels and specialized training of sales representatives. Other initiatives include company-run farmers’ days, annual cattle shows, and sponsorship of animal welfare organizations. In August 2021, MSD rebranded its Bovilis vaccine line for ruminants with distinctive color packaging, enhancing its offerings. In September 2020, MSD partnered with Mission Rabies and Rabies Free Africa to launch a global campaign to raise awareness regarding the importance of dog vaccination among veterinarians, dog owners, and volunteers.
In 2020, the production animal segment captured the largest revenue share. The companion animal segment is estimated to exhibit the highest CAGR over the forecast period. The growing prevalence of diseases in animals, the need to secure food sources, and increasing pet health concerns are estimated to fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
As per the OIE, there were about 56 new disease outbreaks during 2020, with over 3,000 cases of animals being infected and over 1,000 dead in South Africa across animal types. Companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, MSD, Ceva, and Virbac offer a wide portfolio of products that help prevent and treat various diseases in production and companion animals. MSD, for example, is a market leader that sells its products through direct sales and an intricate network of distributors spread across the country.
The pharmaceuticals accounted for the largest revenue share in 2020 owing to the availability of a large number of products in this category and the rapid adoption of pharmaceuticals such as parasiticides and anti-infectives for animals. Rabies, for instance, is a viral infection of the nervous system with the most cases of rabies detected in domestic dogs in South Africa, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Human rabies cases, although rare, continue to be confirmed annually with the most cases associated with domestic dog exposures. This is expected to increase the demand for antivirals targeting rabies.
The biologics segment is anticipated to expand at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period due to an increase in R&D efforts by key companies and partnerships with animal welfare organizations and other global bodies to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as African swine fever and rabies. Onderstepoort Biological Products, for instance, is a South African company offering an extensive lineup of vaccines for various animal types, such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and poultry.
Parenteral mode of delivery held the largest revenue share in 2020. Veterinary medicines given parenterally through injections do not go through the gastrointestinal system and may be formulated in different ways, including solutions, suspensions, and emulsions. They may also be formulated as dry powders mixed with liquids prior to injection to become a solution or a suspension, making them a preferred dosage form for drugs that are otherwise unstable in liquid form.
The oral segment is projected to exhibit the fastest CAGR over the forecast period as it is a popular dosage form for the treatment of companion and livestock animals due to its ease of administration. In May 2021, Elanco, for example, launched the first-of-its-kind oral flea and tick chewable product for Cats-Credelio. Rising expenditure on animal health and the availability of different dosage forms and delivery systems are anticipated to drive the market. MSD Animal Health, for instance, offers a wide range of oral, parenteral, and topical formulations for treating various disease conditions, such as internal and external parasites, wounds and abscesses, infectious diseases, and dermatological conditions.
The veterinary hospitals and clinics segment dominated the market in 2020 owing to the large volume of patients treated at these facilities and the availability of trained veterinary personnel. The Penzance Veterinary Clinic, for example, offers a range of services, including general consultations, surgical services, radiology and ultrasound, and microchipping, to pet parents. In addition, the clinic has a retail outlet that supplies pet food, prescription-based diet foods, parasiticides, and other products.
The reference laboratories segment is anticipated to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the presence of a significant number of veterinary reference laboratories. Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, for instance, is a veterinary reference lab that partners with OIE for African Horse Sickness, Bluetongue, foot and mouth disease, African swine fever, and other key diseases ailing the animal population in the country.
The South African market for veterinary medicine is competitive. Market players deploy various strategic initiatives, including the expansion of distribution networks, sales and marketing initiatives, partnerships, and product development. For instance, in October 2019, Nutreco acquired Animal Nutrition and Health (ANH), a premix company based in South Africa. The company expanded its product portfolio of animal feeds and overall presence in the South African market. Key players offer a wide portfolio of registered veterinary products sold through strategic distribution partnerships or direct sales. Products are offered at competitive prices as the market is price-sensitive. Some prominent players in the South African veterinary medicine market include:
BoehringerIngelheim International GmbH
Wildlife Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd.
Bupo Animal Health (Pty) Ltd.
Market size value in 2021
USD 126.5 million
Revenue forecast in 2028
USD 248.2 million
CAGR of 10.1% from 2021 to 2028
Base year for estimation
2016 - 2019
2021 - 2028
Revenue in USD million & CAGR from 2021 to 2028
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Animal type, product, mode of delivery, end-use
Key companies profiled
MSD; Ceva; Zoetis; BoehringerIngelheim International GmbH; Virbac; Wildlife Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd.; Nutreco N.V.; Design Biologix; Deltamune; Bupo Animal Health (Pty) Ltd.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the country level and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the South Africa veterinary medicine market report on the basis of animal type, product, mode of delivery, and end-use:
Animal Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)
Sheep & Goats
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)
Live Attenuated Vaccines
Medicated Feed Additives
Mode of Delivery Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)
Veterinary Hospitals & Clinics
b. The South Africa veterinary medicine market size was estimated at USD 116.96 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 126.5 million in 2021.
b. The South Africa veterinary medicine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1% from 2021 to 2028 to reach USD 248.2 million by 2028.
b. Pharmaceuticals accounted for the dominant share of the South Africa veterinary medicine market by product in 2020, owing to the availability of a large number of products in this category and the rapid adoption of pharmaceuticals such as parasiticides & anti-infectives for animals.
b. Some key players operating in the South Africa veterinary medicine market include MSD; Ceva; Zoetis; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Virbac; Wildlife Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd.; Nutreco N.V.; Design Biologix; Deltamune; and Bupo Animal Health (Pty) Ltd, among others.
b. Key factors that are driving the South Africa veterinary medicine market growth include increasing need to safeguard the health of livestock animals, incidence of diseases in animals, initiatives by market participants and improving awareness about animal health.
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