Posts Tagged ‘ruma’

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

RUMA Business Plan 2016



  1. RUMA is an alliance of farming, animal health industry, food retailing and associated groups (see ‘About’ section on the website for current RUMA membership and officers) with the aim of promoting a co-ordinated and integrated approach to best practice in the use of medicines on farm.


  1. RUMA operates by providing best practice advice on the use of medicine to farmers and veterinary surgeons by publishing free guidelines aimed at each of these groups and providing advice/comment on specific issues on its website RUMA guidelines highlight the importance of good farm management and health planning to reduce disease challenge and, therefore, the need to use medicines. RUMA does not support the use of medicines as a substitute for good farm management and animal husbandry.

RUMA’s existing commitments

  1. It is important for RUMA to maintain a high profile amongst farmers and vets, so that they can avail themselves of the advice on best practice use of medicines, and policy makers (e.g. Defra and the Food Standards Agency), so that they are aware of this advice. This will continue to be done by
  • helping the livestock industry to implement the UK Government’s 5 year AMR Strategy published in 2013 by co-ordinating the work to deliver the actions in the RUMA Action Plan implementing the Strategy and to report progress by publishing an update of the Plan in May 2016.
  • commissioning a communications consultant to develop and implement a new communications strategy.
  • keeping the new RUMA website up to date by populating it with position statements, factsheets and all the sort of information users would expect of an organisation speaking for the industry.
  • exploring opportunities to increase awareness of the RUMA website and familiarity with its contents.
  • updating and publishing RUMA guidelines by using internal RUMA expertise and good will, where at all possible, to reduce costs.
  • RUMA members regularly referring to the work of RUMA.
  • auditing the reach of the guidelines, as far as that is possible.
  • helping to support veterinary surgeons and educate farmers and others involved in the responsible use of medicines. In particular, RUMA will work with others to increase and improve the training in responsible use available to farmers.
  • RUMA’s officers attending meetings and writing articles to publicise RUMA’s work.
  • arranging a conference on responsible use.

Future work programme

  1. The European Commission has announced proposals to amend the EU’s veterinary medicines and medicated feed additives legislation. Their key aims are to improve the availability of veterinary medicines and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. RUMA has been working since 1997 to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials and reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance and fully supports the Commission’s aims. So, in addition to the routine work set out above, RUMA will work to provide advice for its members and the UK negotiators in their response to the Commission’s proposals. RUMA will
  • closely monitor EU discussions in relation to the antimicrobial issue.
  • work with members and EPRUMA to influence the Commission’s developing proposals.
  • produce appropriate briefing material.
  • keep RUMA members up to date on developments via email and on the website.
  • as necessary, call special meetings of the AMR group to assess proposals and consider
  • organise RUMA press briefings or participate in RUMA members’ press briefings.
  • attend meetings and write articles to publicise the work of the Alliance on the Commission’s proposals.
  • support of the VPS distribution system if it is challenged during negotiations on the proposals to change EC legislation.
  • access specialist external veterinary/public health advice.


  1. RUMA is financed through fees paid by its members. These normally generate an annual income of some £21,000 which is used to meet the costs of drafting and issuing the guidelines, maintaining the website, holding meetings and general administration by the Secretary General.
  2. RUMA has decided that the Alliance should have a supporting, rather than a lobbying, role in the EC negotiations. RUMA will, therefore, provide briefing material for members to use in their lobbying work. It is considered that any additional costs of this extra work will be met from RUMA funds.

Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance

January 2016

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