The recently completed RUMA Guidelines on the Responsible Use of Vaccines and Vaccination in Dairy and Beef Production were officially launched at Beef Expo 2007 in Skipton today. Introducing the launch, the Chairman of RUMA, Peter Allen MBE, said that these were the last in a series of species guidelines on vaccines.
“The vaccination guidelines available for pigs, poultry, sheep and fish have already been seen by the farming industry as a helpful step in ensuring the implementation of health planning at farm level. These cattle guidelines form the last of the set and illustrate the positive involvement of the industry in promoting the health and welfare of food producing animals and their use in safe food production.”
Launching the guidelines, Skipton and Ripon MP David Curry, who is also Chairman of Dairy UK, said:
“None of us I’m sure would argue with the basic messages that the RUMA Alliance conveys and I hope I’ll be forgiven for suggesting that practical common sense is the foundation of most of what RUMA does.
“The messages are, simply:
• that best practice in the use of veterinary medicines is a pre-requisite for the better protection of animal health and welfare. • that the freedom of livestock products from unacceptable veterinary residues cannot be guaranteed without medicines being used responsibly.
“It seems to me that the clue to the strength of the RUMA Alliance is in the title. We have here a genuine industry partnership taking real and practical initiatives.
“We are seeing huge changes in consumer concerns about food – who would have thought even five years ago that food miles, fair trade and sustainability would be so high up the public agenda. Industry needs to take every opportunity to show it is in tune with the public mood and to offer the assurance of responsible behaviour. It is very much in its commercial interest to do so.”
John Sumner, who co-ordinated the production of the cattle guidelines, said:
“The guidelines present a positive message as to how disease can be prevented and controlled. This in turn means that animals are usually able to shake off infection when exposed to it rather than become ill. Another considerable advantage is that vaccinations can be planned and this has considerable cost benefits to the farmer as healthy animals produce better.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- For further information contact Dr Tony Andrews on 01438 717900
- The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) was established in November 1997 to promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health, animal welfare and reduction of environmental impact in British livestock farming.
- RUMA is a unique initiative involving organisations representing every stage of the food chain, facilitating transparency and traceability in the process.
- RUMA membership is open to all organisations with an interest in the areas of food safety, animal health and animal welfare. Currently members include Agricultural Industries Confederation, Animal Health Distributors Association, Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority, Assured Food Standards, British Poultry Council, British Retail Consortium, British Veterinary Association, Dairy UK, Linking Environment and Farming, Meat and Livestock Commission, National Beef Association, National Consumer Council, National Farmers Union, National Office of Animal Health, National Pig Association, NPTC, National Sheep Association, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. The National Beef Association is a full member of the Alliance.
- Dairy UK is the newest member of the RUMA Alliance.
- The RUMA Guidelines on Vaccines and Vaccination were a farm health planning initiative in partnership with Defra supported by the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH).
- RUMA Guidelines are produced in two forms. The “short” are for use by those interested in the subject including the general public, media, agricultural advisers, farmers, farm managers and stockpersons. The “long” guidelines are more detailed and are targeted at advisers particularly those who are involved in herd health planning and dispensing vaccines, as well as some farmers, farm managers and stockpersons.
- In all there are six sets of vaccine and vaccination guidelines involving farm animal production, dairy and beef cattle production, fish production, pig production, poultry production, and sheep production.
- All vaccine guidelines, together with those for antimicrobials, can be downloaded free of charge from the RUMA website: www.ruma.org.uk