The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) on June 2 significantly revised its estimates for cat and horse ownership in the United States, which was last updated in 2014.
The agency said the number of cats across the country has decreased 21% from 74 million to 58.4 million, and the number of horses has decreased 22% from 4.9 million to 3.8 million.
These new estimates are based on information it received from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the US Department of Agriculture (UDSA).
The CVM maintains estimates for pet populations in the United States to determine the eligibility of “minor use” animal drugs, which include medicines for uncommon or geographically limited diseases or conditions in seven major animal species: horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkey and chickens.
“In essence, if the population decreases, the likelihood of a particular disease or condition being considered a minor use increases,” the CVM said in an official statement.
This updated demographic data is expected to help the agency better determine minor use drug needs for major animal species in the United States.
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