The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) 2023 conference is set to explore how One Health relates to the agricultural world, in a series of online webinars.
The webinars will see a line-up of industry speakers address various topics regarding the responsible use of medicines across the agricultural sector. The sessions will be taking place on Wednesdays from 1 November- 29 November, and are free to register for on their website.
The series will begin with a session in which representatives from RUMA and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate will launch the latest RUMA Targets Task Force Report and Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance Report (UK-VARSS) respectively, addressing the UK’s progress with antibiotics use targets.
Session 2 will discuss responsible use of medicines relating to UK agriculture, including global predictions of antibiotic use and an assessment of the UK’s own position. It will address whether the global efforts against anti-microbial resistance (AMR) are enough, and the necessary compromises that may need to be made in regards to the affordability of food.
This will be followed by a session featuring guest speakers from RUMA Companion Animal and Equine, who will share their work revealing the importance of also measuring antibiotic use in dogs and cats. This will highlight existing national usage figures, as well as exploring how data and learnings from the livestock sectors may inform future steps.
The penultimate session will see a panel of speakers discuss RUMA findings in relation to the environmental impact of agricultural medicines.
The final session will consider the wider meaning of One Health, including how different disciplines can work together to ensure the medicines are used sustainably. This will conclude with a debate panel, which will deliberate whether enough is being done and what future steps will be.
The online conference coincides with Antibiotic Amnesty, a veterinary industry-wide campaign to tackle anti-microbial resistance. The campaign encourages members of the public to return unused or unwanted antibiotics to their veterinary practice for safe disposal.
Fergus Allerton, one of the organisers of the amnesty, said: “We want unused antibiotics to be disposed of safely. Studies show that leftover antibiotics are rarely returned to pharmacies or vets and are more commonly disposed of in household waste or down sinks and toilets.
“This could potentially contribute to AMR and have a negative impact on water quality, aquatic life and wildlife.”
The sessions are free to view online, however pre-booking is required. You can sign-up for the five webinars here.
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