Following the publishing of its 2016 Antibiotic Stewardship Report today, RUMA welcomes the incredible progress made by the poultry meat sector since it first set up its programme in 2011. Their sustainable use approach has made possible a reduction of 71% in weight of antibiotics used between 2012 and 2016, and shows what is achievable with determination and courage.
While the integrated nature of the poultry meat sector compared with other sectors has helped it gain consensus and action at farm level, it nonetheless continues to be a source of inspiration and advice for many other sectors within RUMA which have more segregated or complex supply chains. These are also now on their own paths to reductions through similar stewardship programmes.
The reductions outlined within the poultry meat sector will also undoubtedly help the whole UK farming industry on its path towards achieving the Government target of average cross-sector antibiotics use of 50mg/PCU by 2018. However, this will not lessen each sector’s focus on reduction, refinement or replacement of antibiotics with their own sector-specific targets due to be released at RUMA’s conference on 27 October.