RUMA response to the release of the latest National Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance

The government has announced its new national action plan (8 May 2024) on antimicrobial resistance to protect people and animals from the risk of drug-resistant infections.

In response to the release of the latest National Action Plan, RUMA Chair, Cat McLaughlin, says: “RUMA is very pleased to see the launch of the second five-year National Action Plan today which further supports and drives UK efforts to tackle AMR from a One Health perspective. In the UK, the responsible use of medicines across UK farming is already part of everyday language, with farmers and vets working collaboratively to embed best practice for responsible use and reductions across all sectors. The continued voluntary work and achievements over the last decade, which have been praised globally, show a solid commitment to improving and protecting the health and welfare of animals, underpinned by the principles for responsible medicine use of reduce, refine, replace.

“Each year RUMA produces its Targets Task Force (TTF) Report which provides updates on antibiotic reduction targets across UK livestock sectors. These targets, which have been in place since 2017, demonstrate UK farming’s ongoing, voluntary commitment to the responsible use of antibiotics. The latest RUMA Targets Task Force 2 (TTF2) progress report was released in November 2023 and highlights the ongoing efforts and achievements underway. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s (VMD) UK-Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance Sales Surveillance (2022) Report was also released at the same time as the RUMA TTF Report, and shows that UK antibiotic sales for food-producing animals have reduced by 59% since 2014, to 25.7 mg/kg. This represents the lowest sales to date.

“Even with the best health care and preventive plans in place, people and animals do get sick at times and antibiotics remain a key medicine in the treatment ‘toolbox’ to help people and animals recover. In those situations, antibiotics are rightfully needed and should be delivered under the mantra of ‘as little as possible, as much as is necessary’. By only using antibiotics when truly needed, UK agriculture continues to play its role in tackling AMR and protecting the efficacy of these important medicines long into the future.”

For more details visit: New 5-year plan to combat antimicrobial resistance – GOV.UK (