RUMA Conference 2021 – ‘Responsible use of veterinary medicines – UK and International perspectives’

The Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) conference, took place online on Thursday 18 November 2021. The event programme covered:

  • the positive story of responsible use of medicines in UK farming
  • an introduction to the new RUMA organisation for companion animals and equine and its objectives
  • the story of the UK’s high health and welfare standards in international trade discussions
  • a look ahead to the next challenges for responsible use of animal medicines

The morning programme was devoted to domestic issues. It focused on the positive story of responsible use of medicines in UK farming and companion animal sectors, which see high standards of food safety, animal health and welfare. The morning concluded with a look ahead to the UK animal medicines legislation. The afternoon programme looked at the international context for the responsible use of medicines, concluding with a look at how the efforts of UK farmers to develop high standards of food safety, animal health and welfare, create an expectation as the UK develops new international trade relationships.

Overview of the sessions:

The RUMA Targets: Session Chaired by RUMA Chair – Catherine McLaughlin

Lord O’Neill set a challenge to UK Agriculture to respond to the AMR challenge and contribute to the UK’s One Health effort to reduce resistance to antibiotics and protect human health. This session gives a summary of the voluntary response to the AMR challenge by the UK’s livestock sectors; it also features a series of sector case studies, with a focus on the Targets Task Force led by RUMA.

RUMA Companion Animal and Equine: Session chaired by Ruma Companion Animal and Equine Chair – Gwyn Jones

Created from RUMA leadership and vision, this new organisation sets out to establish the principles of responsible use of medicines in the companion animal and equine sectors with a view to contributing positively to the One Health agenda. We hear the story so far including priorities, challenges and focus for the new organisation.

The future opportunities for UK medicines legislation: Session chaired by British Veterinary Association President – James Russell

This session features a discussion between James Russell and Kitty Healey (Head of Antimicrobial Resistance, Policy & Surveillance, VMD) on the scope and opportunities for the UK Veterinary Medicines legislation. A range of stakeholder points of view are also featured.

Q&A Sessions1 & 2: chaired by RUMA Chair, Catherine McLaughlin

  • Gwyn Jones – RUMA Companion Animal & Equine Chair
  • James Russell – BVA President
  • Kitty Healey – Head of Antimicrobial Resistance, Policy &Surveillance, VMD
  • Chris Lloyd – RUMA Secretary General

The global picture: Responsible use around the world: Session chaired by RUMA Deputy Chair – Dawn Howard

This session looks at the multilateral work going on around the world, in particular through the Global Leaders Group. It considers surveillance, investor action and voluntary targets. It concludes with a look at the global vision for new animal medicines.

  • Professor Dame Sally Davies – UK Special Envoy on AMR and Professor J.Scott Weese – Ontario Veterinary College
  • Carel du Marchie Sarvaas – Executive Director at Health For Animals
  • Christine Middlemiss – UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer

The story of the UK’s high health and welfare standards in international trade discussions: Session Chaired by RUMA Chair – Catherine McLaughlin

  • Stuart Roberts – NFU Deputy President
  • Tim Smith – Chairman of Cranswick plc
  • Sarah Bradbury – Tesco Quality Director
  • Ian Wright – Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation

The panel provides insight into the value of the UK’s high health and welfare status as the UK seeks to develop and establish new parameters for imports and exports with countries around the world.

Horizon Challenges: Peter Borriello, Trustee for Safe Medicines for Animals through regulatory training (SMArt)

A look ahead to the challenges the UK faces in its bid to ensure responsible use of medicines and in response to AMR.

The International Perspective: Professor Dame Sally Davies and Dr Jeffrey Scott Weese