Archive for April, 2014

AMR Strategy Action Plan

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) fully supports the UK Government’s Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy that was launched on 10 September 2013 and has produced an action plan for the livestock sector.

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said the Alliance had discussed the actions that will be required to implement the Strategy and had developed the action plan that has been published on the RUMA website. The plan is based on the detailed actions in Annex B of the Strategy and sets out the actions that RUMA and/or its individual member organisations will take. Inevitably, the plan is still at an early stage. RUMA members have agreed to review and record progress against the plan at RUMA’s quarterly meetings and to publish the plan and its subsequent revisions to provide an open report on how this work is developing. During these reviews new actions will be added to the plan including any identified by the high level steering group made up of DARC, ARHAI and ACMSF members set out in the Strategy as being responsible for agreeing the overall plan for its implementation.

In response to the action to improve public engagement, RUMA has published an information note on antibiotic resistance. Written in Plain English, the information note aims to:

  1. Explain antibiotic resistance and why it matters to human and animal health
  2. Set out why and how antibiotics are used in UK farms
  3. Identify the risks to public health from use of antibiotics in farming
  4. Explain the responsible use of antibiotics in farming
  5. Identify the changes in legislative controls (for antibiotic use in veterinary medicines and feed additives) that RUMA believes are appropriate and proportionate to manage the limited risk of antibiotic use in farm animals leading to clinical treatment problems in humans.
  6. RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said that the Alliance had published the information note to help all interested parties from consumers to regulators to understand the complex topic of antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in livestock.

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. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. The UK’s Five Year AMR Strategy can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-5-year-antimicrobial-resistance-strategy-2013-to-2018
  3. The RUMA Action Plan can be found here
  4. The RUMA Antibiotic Resistance Information Note can be found here
  5. DARC is the DEFRA Antimicrobial Resistance Co-ordination Committee; ARHAI is the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance (a Department of Health Advisory Committee) and Healthcare Associated Infections; ACMSF is the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food (a Food Standards Agency Advisory Committee)

RUMA launches new farmer Poultry and Game guidelines

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) is delighted to launch its revised guidelines for farmers on the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials in Poultry and Game Production.

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said the revised guidelines were prepared as part of RUMA’s programme of regularly updating its guidelines. He said that the new revision had been extended to include game production and he was delighted that the Game Famers’ Association had decided to send the revised guideline to all their members as a supplement to their Game Farming Guide.

Mr FitzGerald said that the new version of the Poultry and Game Antimicrobial Guidelines for farmers stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimise antimicrobial use. They include practical advice for poultry and game farmers and highlight the Four Golden Rules on Disease Control i.e.

  • biosecurity to limit disease spread
  • avoid stress
  • good hygiene
  • good nutrition.

RUMA Guidelines were first introduced in 2000 and are intended as working documents. They are 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 farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers, to provide more detail. Work has already begun on updating the longer poultry guideline which will be launched later in 2014.

The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the Four Golden Rules helps reduce the need to use antimicrobials, including antibiotics, without adversely affecting animal welfare. It is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary 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. For further information contact RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald (rumasec@btinternet.com) or see the RUMA website www.ruma.org.uk
  2. The Game Farmers’ Association (GFA) is a trade organisation dedicated to the production of quality game birds for the UK shooting industry. The Association was founded over 80 years ago and now has in excess of 200 game farming members. Most game farmers in Britain are members of the GFA and the Association represents their interests, as well as encouraging everyone who rears game to follow high standards which include the responsible use of medicines.
  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 in the table which is included in the Guidelines Disease Control:

Four golden rules

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