RUMA Guidelines for Cattle Launched

A set of guidelines designed to help dairy farmers demonstrate best practice of antimicrobials has been launched by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).

The RUMA Guidelines for Cattle provide advice on all aspects of antimicrobial use from application and farmer and veterinary responsibilities, to strategies for reduced use.

The Guidelines for Cattle, which are targeted at dairy and also beef farmers, are the first of a wider series of working documents taking in other individual farm species to be produced by RUMA. Each is an update of a set of guidelines developed more than five years ago.

“It is very rewarding that farming, pharmaceutical, animal health and welfare and allied industries can come together under a body such as RUMA to work to one common cause,” explained Cumbria farmer and RUMA chairman, Peter Allen at the document’s official launch at the Dairy Event this week. “The original RUMA Guidelines, as with all working documents needed to keep abreast of developments. The new guidelines do just that and we are sure that they will make a big contribution to the improved use of antimicrobials and that they will benefit cattle farmers and ultimately our customers.”

“The new guidelines for dairy cattle are effective and easy to read and will help all producers to use antimicrobials responsibly to safeguard herd health,” explained John Sumner policy advisor to the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) who wrote the document for RUMA. “Adopting these guidelines will also help to ensure that both the milk and meat which farmers produce meet with consumer requirements,” he said.

British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) president, Ruth Vernon stated that the correct use of antimicrobials and reason for their use was not only the responsibility of dairy producers, but also their vets. “Therapeutic antimicrobial products should be regarded as complementing good management and farm hygiene,” she said. “However it is vital for a strong partnership and good understanding to exist between the dairy farmer and his or her veterinary surgeon. These guidelines set down clear responsibilities for both parties for treating animals in a practical and understandable manner.”


  1. Further information and copies of the guidelines from RABDF’s John Sumner on 01694 724678
  2. Issued by Liz Snaith Agricultural Communications on 01743 344986 / 07974 678833
  3. For more information on RUMA, call Dr Tony Andrews, RUMA director, on 01438 717 900.
  4. he 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.
  5. 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