RUMA launches new cattle antimicrobial guidelines

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The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) has revised guidelines for farmers and vets on the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle Production.

The updated guides stress the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimise antimicrobial use in a quick and easy-to-read format.

They include practical advice and highlight the Four Golden Rules on Disease Control:

  • biosecurity to limit disease spread
  • avoid stress
  • good hygiene
  • good nutrition

The guides also summarise the responsibilities of cattle farmers, give advice on strategies to reduce the need for usage and, where necessary, how to use antimicrobials responsibly to safeguard the health and welfare of their animals.

Antimicrobials have made a major contribution to the health and welfare of cattle and are vital medicines for the treatment and control of bacterial infections in cattle.

However, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance as a serious problem in human medicine has prompted concerns that resistance or resistant bacteria could be transferred from livestock to the human population (and vice versa). The effectiveness of some human antimicrobial treatments might be compromised if this occurred. Therefore, it is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics.

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said: “The revised guidelines were prepared as part of RUMA’s programme of regularly updating its guidelines. The new revision has been updated with extensive help from the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA).”

Read the guidelines on the RUMA website.

RUMA is a unique initiative involving organisations representing every stage of the "farm to fork" process. It aims to promote the highest standards of food safety, animal health and animal welfare in the British livestock industry. The NFU is a proud and active member of RUMA.

Last edited on: 05:08:2015

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