Posts Tagged ‘antibiotics’

Invitation to tender: Delivering a comms strategy for RUMA

RUMA is seeking professional communications support to maintain its position as the go-to organisation on issues relating to responsible use of medicines across UK agriculture.

Its activities cover the breadth of animal medicine, but recently it has had a focus on the use of antibiotics and responsible reductions without negative impact on animal health, welfare or food safety.

RUMA’s work includes coordination of the Targets Task Force and liaison with sector sub groups to promote the cross sector voluntary response to the AMR challenge.

An Independent Scientific Group (ISG), made up of experts from the veterinary and medical professions, advises RUMA on its strategic priorities and positions, acting as a critical friend and ensuring that RUMA remains science and evidence led.

The RUMA communication role will support both the TTF to include coordination of an annual report on progress towards the sector targets, support to sectors to amplify messages around their activities / targets and case studies where relevant and the ISG as appropriate, and when requested by RUMA Officeholders.

The RUMA Communication position includes the following activities: –

  • Communication advice to RUMA (Officeholders and Board)
  • Media monitoring and reporting of industry challenges and related issues
  • Liaison with other RUMA Alliance member communications
  • Liaison with RUMA’s new sister organisation the RUMA Companion Animals and Equine Group
  • RUMA newsletter – collation of existing published articles and circulation
  • Writing, and having gained approval from RUMA Officeholders and Board, the release of RUMA press releases, position statements, and responses to issues
  • Communication support to the TTF to include an annual progress report – compilation publication and media briefing
  • Web content and development
  • Maintaining RUMA’s social media presence through the management of the RUMA Twitter account
  • Input to RUMA conference themes and content
  • Coordination of comms around the RUMA conference
  • Input / delivery of RUMA reports as specific projects; these could involve seeking expert opinions and input from the ISG
  • Issues management advice
  • Providing a communication input to relevant Officeholder and Board discussions and developments impacting on RUMA’s reputation and strategy

Background  

RUMA – the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals Alliance – is an industry stakeholder organisation which provides leadership on the responsible use of medicines in farm animals including antibiotics.

Its work supports the development of a UK livestock industry which is innovative and proactive in its efforts to drive the responsible use of medicines to ensure good animal health, associated welfare and food safety.

It works to secure confidence amongst stakeholders including government and the public that the industry is fully engaged on issues of responsible use and is ‘doing things right’.

RUMA currently has 26 member organisations and wants to maintain its position as the go to organisation on issues of responsible medicine use in livestock.

In addition, it needs to be ready to explain the industry position on related issues in the event of criticism and challenge about the use of medicines, particularly antibiotics in farm animals.

RUMA has a list of relevant stakeholders, including government officials across the devolved administrations, policy regulators, opinion formers throughout livestock supply chains and the human medical sector as part of the One Health agenda.

RUMA has two key strategic objectives, under which it coordinates a series of activities: –

Strategic Objective 1

Champion the responsible use of animal medicines in UK livestock.

Strategic Objective 2

Maintain a specific focus on AMR and the responsible use of antibiotics in UK livestock, coordinating activities which contribute to the UK 5 Year AMR Strategy.

RUMA is a private company limited by guarantee, funded solely by members’ annual fees. The contract for this tender will be with RUMA reporting to the Secretary General.

For more information on RUMA please visit our website www.ruma.org.uk.

  • Tenders are invited from interested parties with relevant experience of the agricultural sector. For further information contact the RUMA Secretary General, Chris Lloyd at chris@ruma.org.uk. Applications close 1st February 2021.

RUMA response to the 2019 One Health report

We welcome the “UK One Health Report: antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in animals and humans” report published today (31 January), a long-awaited review of how human and veterinary medicine in the UK have progressed since 2013 on the One Health challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

In farming, cutting the risk of resistance developing within veterinary medicine is a primary goal as we need to preserve the antibiotics we have to ensure we can continue to treat disease and – in doing so – safeguard animal health and welfare and food safety.

However, we also need to ensure that risk to human health arising from the use of antibiotics in farm animals is kept to a minimum.

We are pleased by the progress in both these areas from measures introduced to improve stewardship, pioneered by the poultry meat sector in 2012 and implemented progressively by other sectors from 2015 onwards.

This has resulted in a 35% reduction in total tonnes of antibiotics sold for use in all UK animals, which includes farm animals, pets and horses, and a halving in use of highest priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs).

This means that in 2013, 45% of antibiotics in the UK were used to treat all animals. In 2017, it fell to 36%. Overall, 26% of total tonnes used in people and animals was specifically for food-producing animals. Furthermore, out of the total tonnes of HP-CIAs used to treat diseases in humans and animals, 22% was used in animals in 2013 and 11% in 2017.

The result is that when tonnage is corrected by bodyweight of humans and animals, the use of antibiotics was higher in humans than in food-producing animals with 123mg/kg and 37mg/kg respectively. Both sectors have reduced their use between 2013 and 2017, by 9% in people and 40% in food producing animals.

As the main objective of lowering antibiotic use is to reduce the opportunities for resistance to develop, it is also good news that overall the report shows we are seeing a reduction in the level of resistance to critical antibiotics in zoonotic bacteria from food-producing animals and retail meat.

There is more to do, including delivering the sector-specific targets set by industry by 2020, but this report will be well-received by the farming sectors as it shows that their efforts are bearing fruit.

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