Archive for the ‘RUMA News’ Category

Antibiotic Awareness Day

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) is delighted to support European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November.

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said antibiotics are key medicines in both human and animal health. Responsible use of antibiotics in livestock helps to maintain animal health and welfare and provide safe food for the consumer. Antibiotics should not be used as a substitute for good farm management which helps prevent disease and reduce the need for medicines.

Antibiotic Awareness Day provides an ideal opportunity for everyone using antibiotics in agriculture to ensure they are doing so responsibly, which means “as little as possible and as much as necessary”, for example:

  • reducing the risk of disease challenge through
    • farm management, good ventilation, good nutrition, access to fresh water, hygiene
    • biosecurity
    • farm health planning
    • vaccination programmes
    • not using antibiotics as a substitute for good farm management
  • only using antibiotics prescribed by your vet and supplied by the vet or from an approved source under a veterinary prescription. Following prescription, if buying medicines over the internet, make sure the site is legitimate, such as those approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), or you could waste your money on a substance that does not work or worse could harm your animals
  • using the antibiotic in accordance with the instructions on the label and as instructed by your vet. It is vitally important to give the full dose for the whole treatment period to avoid increasing the risk of resistance
  • vets should prescribe antibiotics under the cascade only as a last resort
  • where there are older alternatives, vets should use susceptibility testing where practical and possible before prescribing modern antibiotics.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of 23 organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 4 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com)
  2. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

RUMA launches new Pig Guidelines

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) is delighted to launch its revised Pig Guidelines on 18 November, European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, launched the new Pig Guidelines at the Promoting Good Veterinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Conference at Liverpool University. Mr FitzGerald said that the new versions of the Pig Antimicrobial Guidelines stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimise antibiotic use. They include practical advice for vets and farmers and highlight the Four Golden Rules on Disease Control i.e.

  • limit pig to pig contact
  • avoid stress
  • good hygiene
  • good nutrition.

He explained: “First introduced in 2000, these Guidelines are intended as working documents and have been updated periodically to continually provide best advice.

“Now in their 3rd editions, the short version provides quick and easy guiding principles that can be used as a working document by pig farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers, to provide more detail.

“The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the Four Golden Rules helps reduce the need to use antibiotics without adversely affecting animal welfare. It is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics,” he explained.

Like all RUMA Guidelines, the new Pig Guidelines are available free of charge on the RUMA website ruma.org.uk.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of 23 organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 4 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com)
  2. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate
  3. RUMA Guidelines are regularly reviewed in consultation with RUMA members and specialist groups working in the relevant sector.
  4. The Four Golden Rules on Disease Control are explained below, which is included as a table in the Guidelines

    Disease Control: Four Golden rules

    • Rule 1 Limit pig-to-pig contact. Disease spreads around a farm by pig-to-pig contact. Limit pig-to-pig contact and you will help to limit the prevalence of disease. REMEMBER pig-to-pig contact can also be INDIRECT by a needle, surgical instrument, manure or people. Spread can often be to many pigs in a pen or in large common groups etc.
    • Rule 2 “Stress” is a killer. Stressed animals are far more likely to become diseased. This includes not only obvious physical stress factors e.g. overcrowding, chilling; but also exposure to micro-organisms which cause major stress to the immune system. THINK – If a procedure causes the pigs to become stressed, ask “can this be done in a less stressful manner?”
    • Rule 3 Good Hygiene There is no substitute for good hygiene and biosecurity measures. Cleaning and disinfecting buildings and instruments coupled with good hygiene will all make a difference. Don’t spread disease by needle or other instruments.
    • Rule 4 Good Nutrition Good intakes of colostrum provide essential antibodies to protect piglets as their immune system is developing. Balanced diets with adequate levels of trace elements, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants are essential if the immune system of pigs is to work properly in tackling diseases.

RUMA appoints new Chairman

Gwyn JonesRUMA is delighted to announce the appointment of Gwyn Jones as the Alliance’s new Chairman.

Gwyn Jones is a dairy farmer from Sussex and a strong advocate of the responsible use of medicines on farm. He was previously Vice President of the National Farmers’ Union and is currently Chairman of EPRUMA, the European Union equivalent of RUMA.

Mr Jones said ‘RUMA is an exciting farm to fork organisation and its clear and honest policies mean that it punches well above its weight in terms of profile and influence on an increasingly international stage. I am honoured to be asked by the Alliance to take the Chairman’s role and help steer its activities during this next challenging period’.

‘Responsible use of antibiotics has been recognised widely as a key element to protecting the continued efficacy of these important medicines for both animals and humans. RUMA has a vital role to play in helping farmers and vets continue to use medicines responsibly.’

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of 23 organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 4 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com)
  2. Gwyn Jones is a Nuffield Scholar and runs a 350 cow dairy farm in West Sussex, with a 1.5 Megawatt Anaerobic Digester integrated in the farm business. He has a long history as an active member of the NFU holding National Office for several years.
  3. Chairman of EPRUMA, an active member of FAWC (3rd term), Vice Chairman of the COPA Animal Health and Welfare Working Group, member of the BVA Welfare and Ethics Group, Gwyn is also a member of the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine’s External Liaison and Advisory Committee.
  4. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

EPRUMA met the European Commissioner

An EPRUMA delegation led by Gwyn Jones, EPRUMA Chairman, met the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, on 16 September.
EPRUMA requested the Commission to make the Responsible Use of veterinary medicines a key component of the EU’s antibiotic strategy.

For more information see here

5 year UK antimicrobial resistance strategy

Defra, BVA, RCVS, NFU, NOAH and RUMA take the issue of antimicrobial resistance very seriously and are committed to working closely together, and with all areas of the animal health sector, to address the grave threat that this represents, both to public and to animal health.

Veterinary, farming and pharmaceutical bodies all recognise and support the need for united action, and welcome the publication of the UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.

Antimicrobial resistance, and predominantly antibiotic resistance, can only be addressed by a strong and integrated ‘One Health’ approach – with both human and animal health sectors working together, as reflected in the key aims and ‘call to action’ outlined in the Strategy.

It is clear that the best way to minimise disease is, wherever possible, to prevent it developing in the first place – and when we do use antibiotics we must all do so responsibly; using the right medicine, at the right dose and at the right time. There are already clear guidelines in place for vets and farmers, and we will continue to promote and reinforce these key messages – and to provide vets, farmers, and pet owners with the information and tools they need to make the right decisions.

At the same time the very complex nature of the factors that cause and spread resistance have to be recognised and understood. Development of the evidence base – through research, and through strengthening our systems for monitoring antibiotic use and trends in resistance, will help us all to understand the most effective ways to address this issue.

We all have our part to play in combating antibiotic resistance, and the new 5 year Strategy clearly shows the path we all need to take together to protect ourselves and our animal population.

Click here for the joint statement
Click here to see the strategy

RUMA Challenges Claims of ‘Staggering’ Impact on Human Health from Farm Antibiotics

Alarmist reports in the media of the number of number of deaths in the UK linked to antibiotic use in farm animals come from out of date research says RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald.

RUMA is disappointed that an inaccurate press release from the Soil Association led to these reports in The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail. Mr FitzGerald said that research into antibiotic resistance in The Netherlands had initially suggested a link between resistant bacteria in humans and poultry and had estimated the number of deaths that may have been caused by this link. More recent work from the same research team using more sophisticated methods has led them to conclude that “Whole genome sequencing provides superior resolution over classical typing methods and does not support the previously proposed occurrence of frequent clonal transmission of ESBL-positive E. coli from chickens to humans”.

Extrapolating the calculations of possible human deaths from the Netherlands to the UK was flawed from the outset because antibiotics were used differently in UK poultry production in 2009 when compared to how they were used in the Netherlands. The British poultry meat industry has voluntarily stopped the use of certain categories of antibiotics in the breeding pyramid which are considered to be critically important to human medicine, such as 3rd generation cephalosporins. In the UK, 3rd generation cephalosporins are not and have never been used in flocks used for chicken meat production which was not the case in The Netherlands in 2009.

The RUMA Alliance, which includes the British Poultry Council and the British Retail Council, recognises the spread of antibiotic resistance as a global challenge and the need for responsible use of antibiotics in farming and human medicine.

nntibiotic resistance is a complex issue and all groups need to work together to develop decisions based on sound and up to date science to manage the risks while allowing the optimum benefit to be gained from the use of antibiotics to treat humans and animals.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 3 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. The Soil Association press release was issued on 2 August 2013.
  3. The latest research results were reported in the abstract in this link (‘Whole genome sequence-based epidemiological analysis of ESBL-producing Escherichia Coli’: M de Been et al. ECMID 2013)
  4. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

RUMA Supports Call for Joint Working to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

Commenting on Science Minister David Willetts’ statement on antibiotics for the G8 Summit, esUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald said:

“The RUMA Alliance welcomes the Minister’s call for the G8 to regard the spread of antibiotic resistance as a global challenge and his comments on the need for responsible use of antibiotics in farming and human medicine.

“However, RUMA does not support a ban of all antibiotics in food production as this would be detrimental to animal health and welfare. All medicines on farm should be used as little as possible and as much as necessary. This means managing farms to minimise the risk of disease and using medicines only when required and then using them appropriately.

“Reducing dosages or the length of treatment simply to use less antibiotics to meet arbitrary reduction targets is not responsible use and would increase the risk of resistance.

“Antibiotic resistance is a complex issue and all groups need to work together to develop decisions based on sound science to manage the risks while allowing the optimum benefit to be gained from the use of antibiotics to treat humans and animals.

“We look forward to working with the government on this matter.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 3 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. David Willetts’ comments were reported in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph and can be found athttp://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jun/11/uk-urge-global-clampdown-antibiotics-g8 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10115082/Antibiotics-given-to-farm-animals-could-pose-super-bug-risk-minister-admits.html
  3. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

RUMA Statement on the Preventive Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals

RUMA has published a position statement on the preventive use of antibiotics in farm animals on its website ruma.org.uk.

RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald said the Alliance had developed the position statement to clarify how antibiotics are used in farm animals. He said the statement also sets out how antibiotics can be used responsibly and preventively in farm animals to help animal health and welfare.

The RUMA statement has been developed with the aim of helping the debate on how the European legislation should be amended to help control antimicrobial resistance. RUMA has already sent a paper to the European Commission urging any decisions on new controls to be based on scientific evidence and to be proportionate to the risk to human medicine from the use of antibiotics in animals.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 4 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. The RUMA Position Statement on the Preventive Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals can be accessed via this link
  3. RUMA’s paper to the European Commission on Antimicrobial Use in veterinary Medicine can be accessed via this link
  4. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

RUMA Welcomes the CMO’s Warning About the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance

RUMA is in full agreement with Professor Dame Sally Davies’ warning about the threat of antimicrobial resistance which is a serious problem that threatens the efficacy of antibiotics used in both human and animal medicine.

Professor Dame Sally, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said “global action is needed to tackle the catastrophic threat of antimicrobial resistance, which in 20 years could see any one of us dying following minor surgery”. The Department of Health is about to launch the five-year UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and Action Plan which will champion responsible use of antimicrobials.

RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald welcomed Professor Dame Sally’s statement. He said that agriculture had to play its part in protecting the continued efficacy of these important medicines for use in both humans and animals. Resistance is a complex issue and RUMA acknowledges the risk that it can transfer from animals to man and vice versa. As the CMO’s report says the current evidence suggests that the use of antimicrobials in animals is not a major cause of resistance in bacteria that affect human health (at least in the UK). RUMA supports Professor Dame Sally’s view that our approach to tackling the problem of antimicrobial resistance must bring together experts in human and animal health to develop joint and complementary initiatives in this field.

Although the risk of resistance transferring from animals to humans is small RUMA believes it is important for farmers and vets to work together to use antimicrobials responsibly on farm. This means firstly reducing the risk of disease by good farm management and then, where prescribed by a vet, using antimicrobials responsibly at the right dose and for the full course of treatment.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. RUMA is an alliance of organisations representing every stage of the “farm to fork” process which aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm. A full list of RUMA members is at paragraph 4 below. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. Professor Dame Sally’s statement can be found at http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/2013/03/11/antimicrobial-resistance-poses-catastrophic-threat-says-chief-medical-officer/
  3. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society

    Observers

    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate

RUMA 2013 Business and Marketing Plan published

Introduction

    1. RUMA is an alliance of farming, animal health industry, food retailing and associated groups (see annex A for current RUMA membership and officers) with the aim of promoting a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines.

How

    1. RUMA operates by providing best practice advice on the use of medicine to farmers and veterinary surgeons by publishing guidelines aimed at each of these groups and providing advice/comment on specific issues on its website ruma.org.uk. RUMA guidelines stress good farm management to reduce disease challenge and, therefore, the need to use medicines. RUMA does not support the use of medicines as a substitute for good farm management.

RUMA’s existing commitments

    1. It is important for RUMA to maintain a high profile amongst farmers and vets, so that they can avail themselves of the advice on best practice use of medicines, and policy makers (e.g. Defra and the Food Standards Agency), so that they are aware of this advice. This will continue to be done by
      • keeping the RUMA website up to date and modernising its performance.
      • updating and publishing the various guidelines by using internal RUMA expertise and good will where at all possible to reduce costs.
      • auditing the effect of the guidelines as far as that is possible.
      • populating the website with position statements, factsheets and all the sort of information users would expect of an organisation speaking for the industry.
      • RUMA members regularly referring to the work of RUMA where appropriate
      • helping to support veterinary surgeons and educate farmers and others involved in the responsible use of medicines RUMA’s officers attending meetings and writing articles to publicise
        RUMA’s work.

Future work programme

    1. The European Commission plans to announce proposals to amend the EU’s veterinary medicines legislation in the first quarter of 2013. Their key aims are to improve the availability of veterinary medicines and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. RUMA has been working since 1998 to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance and so fully supports the Commission’s aims. So, in addition to the routine work set out above, RUMA will work to influence and prepare for the Commission’s announcement and to help the UK negotiators in their response to it. RUMA will
      • closely monitor EU discussions, proposals etc in relation to the antimicrobial issue.
      • work with EPRUMA to influence the Commission’s developing proposals.
      • brief/meet MEPs.
      • keep RUMA members up to date on developments via email and on the website.
      • as necessary, call special meetings of the Board/AMR group to assess action.
      • organise RUMA press briefings or participate in RUMA members’ press briefings.
      • RUMA’s officers attending meetings and writing articles to publicise the work of the Alliance.
      • access specialist external veterinary/public health advice.

Budget

  1. RUMA is financed through fees paid by its members. These normally generate an annual income of some £16,500 which is used to meet the costs of drafting and issuing the guidelines, maintaining the website, holding meetings and general administration by the Secretary General.
  2. The additional costs of the extra work outlined above are estimated to be a total of £16,000 for
    • briefing all relevant bodies in the UK – paid from regular income
    • three visits (6 nights stay) to Brussels to meet EPRUMA and/or Commission officials and to attend any relevant conferences – £2,500.
    • briefing/meeting MEPs may be partly achieved under the first bullet but an allowance of £1,000 is needed to cover additional trips.
    • keeping RUMA members up to date on developments via email and on the website. This is part of RUMA’s routine work and would be met from the normal annual income.
    • possibly calling special meetings of the Board/AMR group to assess action – room hire/refreshments – up to £1,000.
    • organise or participate in RUMA members’ press briefings. This is part of RUMA’s routine work and would be met from the normal annual income.
    • arrange individual meetings with member organisations as necessary to let them know what RUMA is doing. These meetings would be more specific to the organisation in question than the general email/website circulation – £1,000 for travel, overnight stays.
    • access to specialist external veterinary/public health advice – £2,500.
    • additional secretariat support preparing papers, liaising with UK and EU officials, EPRUMA and other advisers, arranging meetings etc – £8,000.
  3. The additional income may be required for 2013 and RUMA will seek this from its reserves and external sources e.g. Defra, the Commission etc. Alternatively, the additional funding could be achieved by increasing RUMA members’ fees for one year or a one-off special payment. The RUMA Board will assess the need for additional income in subsequent years taking into account the proposals eventually made by the Commission and the need for RUMA to seek any changes to them

To see the plan in full click here

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