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‘Meat testing’ press release criticised by RUMA
RUMA said the press release fails to acknowledge the strict regulation of all antibiotic use in farm animals.
Randox Health tested beef for antibiotic residue at Aintree kitchens

RUMA has strongly criticised a press release by the Grand National sponsor Randox Health for making ‘inaccurate and misleading’ statements about the use of antibiotics in farm animals.

Randox issued the press release last week, saying it tested meat for traces of antibiotics before serving it from the Aintree kitchens to around 12,000 people. The Ladymoor Farm Beef was given the ‘all-clear’ by Randox’s Food Diagnostic division after being tested using its Biochip Array Technology.

According to its website, Randox offers ‘tools for the screening of antimicrobials, growth promoting hormones and drugs of abuse in animals and produce’. The company said it wanted to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and is ‘working closely with the industry to promote a responsible approach to antibiotic use in farm animals’.

However, RUMA, which promotes the responsible use of medicines in farm animals, said the press release fails to acknowledge the strict regulation of all antibiotic use in farm animals, and the withdrawal periods observed to avoid the presence of antibiotics in meat, milk and other products. It also confuses residue testing with the separate issue of antibiotic resistance.

RUMA secretary John Fitzgerald referred to the press release as “an ill-conceived PR stunt” and called it “irresponsible and incorrect” to imply consumers would be harmed by antibiotics from any farm produce, when residue levels have long been tightly controlled.

“Regarding the altogether different issue of antibiotic resistance, its relationship to the testing of meat for residues is bewildering,” he added. “Antibiotic resistance is complex enough already; it should be a moral duty to clarify the facts rather than cause further confusion or, worse still, seek to use it for economic gain.”

Randox was also chastised for attributing a rise in human prescriptions of ‘last resort’ drugs to farm animals, when RUMA says farm animal sales of all antibiotics, including high priority drugs, have fallen.

RUMA said it had contacted Randox for urgent clarification. 

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Blue Dog Programme wins WSAVA One Health award

News Story 1
 An educational initiative to help children interact safely with dogs has been awarded the WSAVA’s 2017 Global One Health Award.

The Blue Dog Programme offers an array of educational resources for children, parents and school teachers, including an engaging website, fact sheets, DVD and an accompany book for parents.

The award will be accepted by Professor Tiny de Keuster, a European veterinary specialist in behavioural medicine and founder of the programme, during WSAVA World Congress 2017.  

News Shorts
VMD stakeholder workshops to discuss Brexit implications

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has announced that it is to hold stakeholder group workshops to discuss the implications of EU exit.

The workshops will be held during Autumn 2017 and will discuss topics such as the prescribing cascade, pharmacovigilance and inspection of non-UK based manufacturers.

To register your interest, send an email to events@vmd.defra.gsi.gov.uk, including any topics, in order of preference, that you would like to be discussed.