Posts Tagged ‘communications’

RUMA & SfAM conference

In July RUMA and SfAM (Society for Applied Microbiology) teamed up to develop and deliver an online conference entitled, ‘Responsible antibiotic use in animals – change is coming’, designed to share best practice on the responsible use of medicines, as well as infection prevention, control and the latest medical innovations.

The conference webinars featured representatives from across the livestock and companion animal industries and academia and focused on four key areas:

  • Companion animals
  • Aquaculture
  • Pig and poultry
  • Innovations in animal health

The sessions were specifically created to provide support and insight to farmers, agriculture workers, veterinary practices, the animal medicines industry, farm assurance professionals, consumers, animal welfare experts and microbiologists.

The webinars are now available to view for free here: SfAM | Responsible antibiotic use in animals: change is coming

RUMA Secretary General, Chris Lloyd said: “This was the first ever RUMA and SfAM collaboration and it was a huge success. It allowed both organisations to reach beyond our usual audience bases to highlight the UK’s AMR success journey to date and share the facts and insights that some audiences may not have been aware of. The sessions were very well attended and the live Q&A sessions at the end were highly engaging.”

Dr Paul Sainsbury, SfAM Director of Communications and Business Development, said: “This was one of the best conferences I have had the pleasure of being involved in. I think the right balance of information and engagement was achieved and I am looking forward to the next RUMA/SfAM event – hopefully!”

Overview of the sessions:

Companion animals

Companion animals play a huge role in people’s daily lives and naturally that means there is close contact with them in our homes. However, as we learn more we realise they are able to acquire and exchange multidrug-resistant pathogens with humans and may serve as a potential source of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for owners. The RUMA Companion Animal and Equine group has been established to encourage and promote the responsible use of medicines, and in particular antibiotics.


The capability to manage aquaculture health issues has increased tremendously in the last few years. However, the rapid growth and development of the aquaculture sector continues to generate new challenges. The use of medicines by the sector brings many challenges as we seek to treat fish effectively but with minimal impact on the environment.

Pig & Poultry

Antibiotic use was an issue of focus in both these sectors before RUMA and the relevant sector stakeholder organisations established voluntary rules and targets to ensure their effective and responsible use. This voluntary approach is now heralded as a template for responsible use of medicines in livestock.

Innovations in animal health

Equipping farmers and vets with the necessary tools and solutions to keep farm animals in good health ensures more sustainable and efficient farming practices. Innovations such as rapid diagnostics for early detection and new therapeutics for treating infections, will support prompt and targeted animal health management and contribute to preventing disease and when necessary, treating infections.

All sessions can be watched here: SfAM | Responsible antibiotic use in animals: change is coming

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


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

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