- 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 on farm.
- RUMA operates by providing best practice advice on the use of medicine to farmers and veterinary surgeons by publishing free 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 and health planning 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 and animal husbandry.
RUMA’s existing commitments
- 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
- helping the livestock industry to implement the UK Government’s 5 year AMR Strategy published in 2013.
- keeping the RUMA website up to date by populating it with position statements, factsheets and all the sort of information users would expect of an organisation speaking for the industry.
- exploring opportunities to increase awareness of the RUMA website and familiarity with its contents.
- modernising and launching a new RUMA website by the end of 2014.
- updating and publishing the various guidelines by using internal RUMA expertise and good will where at all possible to reduce costs.
- RUMA members regularly referring to the work of RUMA where appropriate. auditing the reach of the guidelines, as far as that is possible.
- helping to support veterinary surgeons and educate farmers and others involved in the responsible use of medicines. In particular, RUMA will work with others to increase and improve the training in responsible use available to farmers.
- RUMA’s officers attending meetings and writing articles to publicise RUMA’s work.
- possibly arranging a conference on responsible use.
Future work programme
- The European Commission plans to announce proposals to amend the EU’s veterinary medicines legislation in the first quarter of 2014. 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 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 UK and European Parliamentarians as appropriate.
- produce appropriate briefing material.
- 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.
- organise an event in conjunction with the Science Media Centre on antibiotic resistance
- RUMA’s officers attending meetings and writing articles to publicise the work of the Alliance on the Commission’s proposals.
- access specialist external veterinary/public health advice.
- consider organising a conference to discuss the implications of the Commission’s proposals to amend the Veterinary Medicines Directive.
- RUMA is financed through fees paid by its members. These normally generate an annual income of some £20,000 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.
- The one-off additional costs of the extra work outlined above are estimated to be up to £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 which hopefully members will be able to cover.
- 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.
- The additional income may be required for 2014/15 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 full version of the RUMA Business Plan 2014 click here