RUMA chair Gwyn Jones has welcomed the increase in funding, which will take the form of increased subscriptions from RUMA members. He says it is indicative of the industry’s deepening commitment to work alongside the human medical community in reducing, refining and replacing use of antibiotics globally – as well as building on the successful 10 per cent reduction in UK farm animal use in 2015.
Mr Jones says: “RUMA’s new five-year plan is focused on leadership, supporting and co-ordinating sector-led reductions in the use of antibiotics, inspiring greater levels of responsible use among farmers, and increasing awareness among policy-makers and the general public of the facts as well as challenges and achievements.
“While stewarding use of antibiotics in human medicine to reduce the risk from resistant bacteria is a pressing priority, farming has an important role to play in reducing risk of resistance developing through the food chain.”
Mr Jones says the biggest challenge facing farming is how to reduce animal treatment with antibiotics without compromising welfare.
RUMA has already ramped up activities in anticipation of increased funding, including the creation of a Targets Task Force in December that will co-ordinate the different farming sectors as they identify meaningful objectives for refining their use of antibiotics.