RUMA has welcomed figures released today which show that in the two years since the gamebird sector rolled out its voluntary campaign to reduce antibiotics, overall use has fallen by 51%, with antibiotics incorporated in gamebird feed slashed by 70%.
The figures, announced by The Game Farmers’ Association (GFA), have been calculated in collaboration with Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and are based on prescriptions written by gamebird vets throughout the UK. The association says that a further year of good engagement by the gamebird sector in 2018 has brought overall usage of antibiotics down by another 24% this year. Together with last year’s substantial fall, this confirms that the industry has halved antibiotic use since our voluntary campaign was rolled out in 2016.
Detailed analysis of the 2018 result shows that in-feed use fell by 35% this year, whilst use of antibiotic in soluble treatments fell by 10%. The difference reflects a continuing focus on treating actual disease outbreaks rather than feeding medicated rations ‘just in case’, and also the need to treat some late disease outbreaks associated with the excessively hot summer.