In September 2013, the Department of Health and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs published a five-year strategy on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). RUMA, a unique alliance of 25 organisations established in 1997 to promote responsible use of medicines in agriculture, welcomed and supported the strategy and developed its own action plan to respond to the seven key areas defined in the document:
A great deal of progress has been made since the plan was first published in April 2014, including establishing an Antibiotic Stewardship Programme in the pig sector similar to that developed by the poultry sector in 2011. The pig industry also launched an electronic medicines book (eMB) in April 2016 to record and benchmark antibiotic and other medicine use; it has since recorded the data of over 5.6 million pigs.
The British Poultry Council’s Antibiotic Stewardship Scheme continues to make great strides and reported that between 2012 and 2015, the Scheme reduced its total antibiotic use in poultry meat production by 43%.
City and Guilds has redeveloped its vet medicines qualification for farm workers to include responsible use of antibiotics on farm, and the British Veterinary Association has embedded responsible use of antibiotics into its CPD provision for veterinary surgeons.
In Lord O’Neill’s Final Report & Recommendations on tackling drug-resistant infections globally, he outlined a 10-point plan for tackling AMR, claiming four interventions would be particularly important, one of which was reducing unnecessary use of antimicrobials in agriculture and their dissemination into the environment. It is this common goal that unites organisations in the food chain, from primary food production, through processing, manufacturing and retailing, to the final consumer. There are many great examples of work being done both collectively and individually for responsible use of antibiotics, a responsibility shared by all in the world.
RUMA joins World Antibiotics Awareness Week
RUMA launches antibiotic resistance website
DoH and DEFRA strategy document
UK five year antimicrobial resistence strategy 2013-2018
British Poultry Council (BPC) Antibiotic Stewardship
Antibiotic stewardship: The Scientifc Debate
BPC Antibiotic Stewardship
Leading the way in the responsible use of antibiotics
National Pig Association (NPA) report on progress
Pig producers make outstanding progress in recording use of antibiotics
NPA pig industry antibiotic stewardship programme
Striving to minimise the use of antibiotics in the pig sector
Dairy UK launches package of new measures
Dairy UK tackles antibiotic use with new training programmes
National Sheep Association (NSA) pledges its support
Sheep sector responds to antibiotic resistance challenge
Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) stewardship
AIC – Antibiotic stewardship and the feed industry
British Veterinary Association (BVA) reacts to O’Neill report
Vets welcome Government commitment to gloabl AMR action
BVA seven-point plan
Responsible use of antimicrobials in veterinary practice
BVA video on tackling AMR
What vets are doing to tackle antibiotic resistance
Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) provides support material for vets
Antibiotic Resistance – Time for Change