RUMA Chair, Cat McLaughlin says: “This is a very important piece of legislation for the UK livestock sector. We look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the consultation and will be working closely with our members to review the draft legislation and provide feedback to the VMD.
“The UK is already seen as leading the way when it comes to the responsible use of medicines. This consultation provides an important opportunity to develop a legislative framework for the years ahead which recognises and supports the UK’s positive track record on animal welfare and responsible medicine use, as demonstrated by the globally praised, voluntary, multi-sector collaboration, which has seen a 55% reduction in antibiotic use since 2014. We hope that any developments to legislation will only seek to further maintain UK agriculture’s commitment to the efforts and achievements that are already well underway.
“In the UK, the responsible use of medicines is already part of everyday language, with farmers and vets working collaboratively to embed best practice for responsible use across all sectors. The continued voluntary work and achievements over the last decade 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.
“When considering antibiotics specifically, these will always have a place in both human and animal medicine and it is vital to have these in our cabinet to tackle disease and protect animal and human health and welfare. It’s not about zero use; the key is to ensure responsible use – as little as possible, but as much as necessary, at the right time and in the right situations.”