Revised RUMA Antimicrobial Use Guidelines Launched

The RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture) Alliance has updated its farmer guidelines on responsible use of antimicrobials.

Species-specific guidelines for sheep, pigs and poultry have been reviewed and revised to bring them in line with new legislation and good practice. They have been drafted by the farming organisations and veterinary associations in each of the sectors.

The pig and poultry updated guidelines are being launched on 3 December at the ‘Healthy animals – safe food’ seminar, organised by NOAH at the Royal Smithfield Show, and those for sheep were first unveiled at the Welsh Winter Fair, Builth Wells on the previous Monday. The pig and poultry guidelines were originally published in June 1999, while those for sheep and cattle were published in June 2000. This revision has taken place in recognition of considerable changes in that period in the use of medicines.

Speaking at the NOAH event, RUMA chairman Peter Allen said: “The RUMA Guidelines on antimicrobial use for all the main food producing species have been around now for over five years. They have shown their worth by being recognised as a benchmark for most farm assurance schemes. It is thus timely for them to be revised and updated. We are very proud to be launching at the Royal Smithfield Show new versions for sheep, pigs and poultry. In case anyone thinks cattle are forgotten, their new guideline was launched just over two months ago.”

RUMA brings together organisations from right across the livestock supply chain and seeks to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines. The guidelines are available on the RUMA website


  1. For further information contact Tony Andrews, RUMA on 01438 717907.
  2. For information on the sheep guidelines, contact John Thorley/Peter Morris NSA on 01684 892661.
  3. For information on the pig guidelines, contact Derek Armstrong MLC on 01908 844216
  4. For information on the poultry guidelines, contact Peter Bradnock, British Poultry Council, on 020 7202 4760.
  5. The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) was established in November 1997 to promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and animal welfare in British livestock farming.
  6. A unique initiative involving organisations representing every stage of the food chain, RUMA aims to promote a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines.
  7. RUMA membership spans the food chain and includes organisations representing interests in agriculture, veterinary practice, the pharmaceutical industry, retail, consumers and animal welfare interests.
  8. RUMA’s members are:
    • Agricultural Industries Confederation
    • Animal Health Distributors Association
    • Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority
    • BPEX and EBLEX
    • British Egg Industry Council
    • British Poultry Council
    • British Retail Consortium
    • British Veterinary Association
    • City and Guilds
    • DairyCo
    • Dairy UK
    • Game Farmers’ Association
    • LEAF
    • National Beef Association
    • National Farmers’ Union
    • National Office of Animal Health
    • National Pig Association
    • National Sheep Association
    • NFU Scotland
    • Red Tractor Assurance
    • Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers
    • RSPCA
    • Royal Pharmaceutical Society


    • Food Standards Agency
    • Veterinary Medicines Directorate