The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) fully supports the UK Government’s five-year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy launched on September 10, 2013, and has produced an action plan for the animal agriculture sector.
RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said on April 23 the alliance had discussed the actions that will be required to implement the strategy and had developed the action plan that has been published on the RUMA website. The plan is based on the detailed actions in Annex B of the strategy and sets out the actions that RUMA and/or its individual member organizations will take. Inevitably, the plan is still at an early stage. RUMA members have agreed to review and record progress of the plan at RUMA’s quarterly meetings and to publish the plan and its subsequent revisions to provide an open report on how this work is developing.
During these reviews, new actions will be added to the plan including any identified by the high level steering group made up of Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Group (DARC), Antimicrobial Resistance and Health Care Associated Infections (ARHAI) and Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food Working Group (ACMSF) members set out in the strategy as being responsible for agreeing the overall plan for its implementation.
In response to the action to improve public engagement, RUMA has published an information note on antibiotic resistance on its website.
The information note aims to:
- Explain antibiotic resistance and why it matters to human and animal health
- Set out why and how antibiotics are used in UK farms
- Identify the risks to public health from use of antibiotics in farming
- Explain the responsible use of antibiotics in farming
- Identify the changes in legislative controls (for antibiotic use in veterinary medicines and feed additives) that RUMA believes are appropriate and proportionate to manage the limited risk of antibiotic use in farm animals leading to clinical treatment problems in humans.
RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald said that the alliance had published the information note to help all interested parties from consumers to regulators to understand the complex topic of antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics in livestock.