The RUMA 2021 conference celebrates industry achievements and acknowledges future challenges and opportunities

The Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) hosted its fourth biennial conference, ‘The responsible use of veterinary medicines – UK and International perspectives,’ online on Thursday 18th November 2021. Footage from the day will be released soon.

A key event highlight was the incredible voluntary industry achievements to date which have helped to halve sales of antibiotics to treat UK farm animals and has seen the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics in animals reduce by 79% since 2014.

The morning programme was devoted to domestic issues and focused on the positive story of responsible use of medicines in UK farming and companion animal sectors, which see high standards of food safety, animal health and welfare and concluded with a look ahead to the UK animal medicines legislation.
The afternoon programme looked at the international context for the responsible use of medicines, concluding with a look at how the efforts of UK farmers to develop high standards of food safety, animal health and welfare, create an expectation as the UK develops new international trade relationships.
Commenting on the event, conference and RUMA Chair, Cat McLaughlin says: “The conference has shone a spotlight and prompted important debate on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“As well as recognising the incredible achievements of the voluntary response to the AMR challenge by the UK’s livestock sectors to date, the event also covered the scope and opportunities for the future UK Veterinary Medicines legislation, responsible use around the world and the global vision for new animal medicines, the story of the UK’s high health and welfare standards in international trade discussions, as well as the expansion of the RUMA blueprint into the companion animal and equine sectors with the launch of the new RUMA Companion Animal and Equine Alliance. We also heard about key sector initiatives such as Farm Vet Champions and the Medicine Hub, both of which are key to driving best practice and robust data collection.

“The level of delegate engagement was outstanding and there were a number of key themes that emerged, covering the ongoing importance of robust data gathering to help drive informed decision making, the need for funding to support innovation, the environment, and recognition that industry and sector collaboration is vital in driving ongoing behaviour change.”

Footage of the conference sessions will be released soon alongside further event commentary and opinion.