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‘Antibiotic-free’ labelling misleading - RUMA
RUMA has warned that labelling meat and milk products as "Antibiotic-Free" could be misleading for consumers.
Alliance warns that claims could also cause unnecessary animal suffering

Labelling products as “Antibiotic Free” has the potential to mislead consumers, the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance has warned.

RUMA said that such labelling implies that products not marketed in this way contain antibiotics, which is not the case, as there are strict rules governing the administration of antibiotics to farm animals in the UK.

Recent moves to label products as “Antibiotic-Free”, “Reared Without Antibiotics”, or “No Antibiotics Ever” has led the RUMA Alliance to reinforce its position that it does not support the marketing of any milk or meat product on the basis of such claims.

The Alliance said that while it welcomes efforts to minimise antibiotic use through improved health and welfare, it does not support the labelling of these claims for marketing.

“The main concern is causing unnecessary suffering and associated welfare issues by withholding treatment from sick animals in order to comply with the label, when in fact the animals should be treated,” said RUMA. “Equally, if sick animals are taken out of that supply chain and appropriately treated, then the wider system of production does still include antibiotic use, which may not be clear to consumers.”

RUMA also said that while the terms may be used to differentiate products in some countries where the use of antibiotics for growth promotion is still permitted, it is not relevant or helpful in the EU where this practice has been banned since 2006.

The Alliance continues: “RUMA is committed to ensuring antibiotics are used in animal production only when necessary, and when used that the right antibiotics are given in the most effective way possible to cure animal disease while minimising the risk of antibiotic resistance developing.” 

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Wildlife presenter to deliver keynote speech at BVA Congress

News Story 1
 The BVA has confirmed wildlife presenter Mike Dilger will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s congress. Mike is known as ‘Britain’s most diseased man’, having contracted a number of exotic diseases on his travels, including malaria, bilharzia and leishmaniasis. His talk, ‘My diseases and other animals’, promises to be an amusing and inspiring lecture on his travels in the tropics and his thoughts on how the mass media is influencing human engagement with wildlife and nature. The lecture will take place at 1pm on 16 November, in the BVA Congress Theatre at London’s ExCeL. 

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Vet school runs event for aspiring vets and nurses

Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what it’s like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018