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New website launched to explain the facts about antibiotics in livestock

15th Nov 2016 / By Alistair Driver

The RUMA alliance has launched a new website explaining the facts about antibiotic use in livestock and offering advice on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

BacteriaThe move by RUMA (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture), timed to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 14-20) is welcome on more than one front.

The new website - - consolidates scientific data and details of the steps being taken to tackle the challenge of resistant bacteria in livestock into one place.

But it also sets out to explain the facts about antibiotic resistance to a wider audience – something that can only help when much of the reporting on the issue takes on a distorted view of the reality of livestock’s contribution to the problem.

RUMA said the site provided impartial, factual information for commentators, media and industry to readily access.

The website, which has been expertly put together, is well worth a look. 

It reports on the progress made by RUMA members, including NPA, to reduce antibiotic use and refine practices without jeopardising the high health and welfare standards of our livestock.

RUMA Secretary General John FitzGerald said: “Handy downloadable infographics and the latest news will help inform the debate around this important topic as there is a tendency to attribute the growth in resistant bacteria mainly to the farming industry, which is not borne out by the facts.”

Resistance in humans continues to be largely attributed to human medicine, according to RUMA. For example, studies across five European countries including the UK indicate farm animal use is potentially associated with as few as one in every 370 human clinical cases of E. coli infection.

Mr FitzGerald added: “The industry, vets and farmers have a major part to play and a shared responsibility in looking at ways to reduce antibiotic use and refine practices but it’s important to recognise the transfer of resistant bacteria from animal to human currently remains very low. We must work to keep it that way.

NPA in World Antibiotic Awareness Week

  • The NPA has issued a press release outlining progress in implementing its Antibiotic Stewardship Programme.
  • Follow the NPA's Twitter feed during Antibiotic Awareness Week for regular insight and information on the use of antibiotics in pig farming.