Targets Task Force

The intention to form the RUMA Targets Task Force was first announced in May 2016 by RUMA after the final findings of the O’Neill review on Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally were released.

RUMA acknowledged that targets for the responsible use of antibiotics were inevitable – but also believed they could also be most meaningful, appropriate and effective if the different livestock sectors steered their development.

This concept became reality when the Government response to the O’Neill review findings were released later that year, and within them the Government asked the farming industry to develop its own sector-specific targets to reduce, refine or replace antibiotic use.

The original task force – formed of a leading producer or industry representative and leading vet from eight different sectors (with trout and salmon combined as aquaculture) – convened for its inaugural meeting in December 2016. Ten months later it delivered the RUMA Targets Task Force Report 2017 at the RUMA conference on 27 October 2017. Since then, the different livestock sectors have been working to deliver the targets by the 2020 deadline.

The wholesale industry engagement with these voluntary targets and the collaborative nature of the way Government and industry have worked together is unique globally, and has attracted interest from a number of other countries as well as from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety DG Sante. The work of the Task Force was officially recognised by the medical and veterinary communities when it won the Prescribing and Stewardship category at Public Health England’s 2018 Antibiotic Guardian Awards.


The original Targets Task Force was:

RUMA Beef hex icon Beef Hugh Broom, Surrey beef farmer and NFU Livestock Board member; Dr Elizabeth Berry, specialist cattle vet and British Cattle Veterinary Association Council member
RUMA Dairy Hex icon Dairy Di Wastenage, Devon dairy farmer and Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Council member; Dr Elizabeth Berry, specialist cattle vet and British Cattle Veterinary Association Council member
RUMA Laying Hens icon Laying hens Richard Kempsey, free-range egg farmer and Technical Director of Stonegate; Paul McMullin, Consultant Veterinarian to the British Egg Industry Executive
Ruma Salmon icon Aquaculture Dr John Webster, Technical Director at the Scottish Salmon Producers Association; Ronnie Soutar, specialist fish vet and President of the Fish Veterinary Society
RUMA Gamebirds icon Gamebirds Paul Jeavons, Worcestershire game farmer and Chairman of the Game Farmers’ Association Health and Welfare Committee; Christian Blake-Dyke, specialist poultry and game-bird vet
RUMA Pigs icon Pigs Richard Lister, Yorkshire pig farmer and Chairman of the National Pig Association; Mark White, President of the Pig Veterinary Society and Chairman of PVS Medicines Sub-committee
RUMA Poultry meat icon Poultry Meat Thomas Wornham, Hertfordshire poultry producer; Daniel Parker, specialist poultry vet and Veterinary Adviser to the British Poultry Council
RUMA Sheep icon Sheep Charles Sercombe, Leicestershire sheep farmer and Chair of the NFU Livestock Board; Dr Fiona Lovatt, specialist sheep vet representing the Sheep Veterinary Society
Observers Fraser Broadfoot, Veterinary Research Officer, Veterinary Medicines Directorate; Javier Dominguez, Veterinary Director and Head of Science, Evidence and Research, Food Standards Agency; John Fishwick, President, British Veterinary Association; Donal Murphy, Head of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, NOAH; Jess Sloss, Technical Manager, Red Tractor Assurance
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