RUMA guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials by sheep farmers have been designed to give easy-to-read guiding principles that can be used by sheep producers in the management of their flocks. Antimicrobials have, for decades, made a major contribution to continually improving sheep health and welfare. As such they are vital medicines for the treatment of bacterial infections in sheep.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance as a serious problem in human medicine has prompted concerns that a crossover of resistance or resistant bacteria from livestock could take place into the human population (and vice versa). If this occurred the effectiveness of some medical antimicrobial treatments could be compromised.
All farmers have a responsibility for the health and welfare of the animals under their control. There are occasions where this is a joint responsibility with their veterinary surgeon, such as in the discharge of correct and appropriate antimicrobial treatment and care. Farmers and stock-keepers can play a major role in ensuring that these responsibilities are properly discharged and that medicines are responsibly used by observing the guidelines published here. Similar guidelines form part of all farm assurance schemes.
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