The full version of the guidelines for Responsible use of Antimicrobials in sheep production are currently under revision.
RUMA guidelines for the responsible use of antimicrobials by sheep farmers have been designed to give easy-to-read guiding principles that can be used by sheep producers in the management of their flocks. Antimicrobials have, for decades, made a major contribution to continually improving sheep health and welfare. As such they are vital medicines for the treatment of bacterial infections in sheep.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance as a serious problem in human medicine has prompted concerns that a crossover of resistance or resistant bacteria from livestock could take place into the human population (and vice versa). If this occurred the effectiveness of some medical antimicrobial treatments could be compromised.
RUMA guidelines for the responsible use of vaccines by sheep farmers have been designed to give easy-to-read guiding principles that can be used by sheep producers in the management of their flocks.
RUMA Alliance member the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued guidance, supported by RUMA, on the use of anthelmintics in grazing animals in the form of a poster for display. The main points are that:
- Resistance to anthelmintics in grazing animals is serious and increasing
- If not checked resistance could have a catastrophic impact on animal welfare and economic production
- Anthelmintics are a necessary option but their use must be judicious
- Every application increases the risk
Blowflies are the most widespread ectoparasite affecting sheep in the UK, with surveys showing that every year 80% of flocks will have one or more cases of strike. If not properly controlled, this will result in serious welfare problems and reduced profitability in up to 500,000 sheep annually, says the Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) programme.
SCOPS is an industry led group that represents the interests of the sheep industry. It recognises that, left unchecked, anthelmintic resistance (AR) is one of the biggest challenges to the future health and profitability of the UK sheep industry.
The SCOPS group was formed to develop sustainable strategies for parasite control in sheep, facilitate and oversee the delivery of these recommendations to the industry and ensure that new research and development is incorporated to refine and improve advice given to the sheep industry.
For more information visit: http://www.scops.org.uk