First RUMA Companion Animal and Equine Annual Progress Report released

9 December 2022

Today (Friday 9 December 2022) has seen the launch of the first Annual Progress Report from the Responsible use of Medicines Alliance – Companion Animal and Equine (RUMA CA&E). The Alliance was established in 2020 to define the principles of responsible use of medicines in the companion animal and equine sectors with a view to contributing positively to the One Health agenda.

The Alliance was created from the leadership and vision of the Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance, which over the past decade has helped focus activity across the livestock sectors to achieve a 55% reduction in antibiotic sales for food-producing animals since 2014, and has seen the use of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics in animals reduced by 79% since 2014.

The newly published RUMA CA&E Annual Progress Report details the work undertaken over the past 12 months by the newly established RUMA CA&E Targets and Measures Working Group (T&MWG) – a small working group of companion animal experts and stakeholders who have been working together to formulate a set of realistic metrics, published for the first time today, for measuring antibiotic use at a national level for dogs and cats (with equine metrics to follow next year).

Steve Howard, RUMA CA&E Secretary General, says: “The T&MWG group quickly concluded that multiple metrics are needed to communicate the wider story of antimicrobial use in the companion animal sectors. Over the past year through collaboration from many stakeholders, work has been undertaken to develop metrics for monitoring and benchmarking use in dogs and cats in the first instance, with equine to follow, as well as identifying key areas where antibiotic stewardship can be improved, including how to reduce the use of HP-CIAs. The group has also considered the challenges that exist, which includes the difficulty in collecting data, differences and inconsistencies in data recording, off licence and specials use, the varying practice models across the country – for example, charity versus private first opinion, versus referral. And there are even greater complexities in the exotic and equine sectors, which we will explore further in 2023.”

BSAVA is an Alliance member of RUMA-CAE. Find out more and see the report here.