Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals – general guidance

Information Note on Antibiotic Resistance and the Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals

RUMA’s briefing paper aims to:

  1. Explain antibiotic resistance and why it matters to human and animal health
  2. Set out why and how antibiotics are used in UK farms
  3. Identify the risks to public health from use of antibiotics in farming
  4. Explain the responsible use of antibiotics in farming
  5. Identify the changes in legislative controls (for antibiotic use in veterinary medicines and feed additives) that RUMA believes are appropriate and proportionate to manage the limited risk of antibiotic use in farm animals leading to clinical treatment problems in humans

Scope of this Briefing Paper

Despite generally using the broader term antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the UK Government, the European Union, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are primarily concerned about the efficacy of antibiotics to treat humans and whether the use of antibiotics in animals increases the risk of untreatable resistant bacteria in humans. This document gives some background to the AMR issue and summarises the responsibilities farmers have as they use antimicrobials to safeguard health and welfare of animals in their care.

The guidelines can be downloaded here.

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