Animal health sector supports commitment to responsible antibiotic use

NOAH believes the progress reported in the Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) report for 2016, which shows significant reductions in antimicrobial use, demonstrates that UK vets and farmers are making every effort to prescribe and use antibiotics responsibly.

Dawn Howard, Chief Executive, NOAH said: “It is encouraging that the work of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) is having a meaningful impact, which will help veterinary antibiotics to remain effective and available for use in the future.”

Building on the results of the VARSS Report, RUMA has today announced new species-specific farm antibiotic targets, as a result of the work of the RUMA Targets Task Force (TTF).  These will further reduce, refine or replace antibiotic use across eight different livestock sectors.

On the TTF, Dawn Howard commented: “We are confident that the work of the Targets Task Force will continue to promote and support responsible use in the coming years, whilst at the same time ensuring animal health and welfare is maintained.

She went on to say: “We must continue to ensure animal health and welfare are not compromised by working to promote measures to prevent disease, including encouraging uptake of vaccinations and other alternatives where they are available. To complement responsible use efforts our sector is committed to investing in the development of alternative products to prevent disease.

“NOAH is also a signatory to the HealthforAnimals Global Animal Health Sector Commitment and Actions on Antibiotic Use, which shows how the whole animal medicines sector is working collectively on a global level, echoing and complementing these UK activities.


“Taken together, these measures will preserve the health and welfare of our farmed animals, whilst using antibiotics responsibly, to the benefit of us all,” she said.

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information please contact Alison Glennon or Dawn Howard at NOAH 020 8367 3131 or email

  2. NOAH represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals. For further information, please visit:

  3. The VARSS Report is available at

  4. The RUMA Targets Task Force comprises a leading vet and farmer from each of the beef, dairy, eggs, fish, gamebird, pig, poultry meat and sheep sectors, who have been consulting with key organisations in their respective industries. The group also includes observers from regulators Food Standards Agency and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), as well as NOAH. See for the report and for more details

  5. The HealthforAnimals Global Animal Health Sector Commitment and Actions on Antibiotic Use is at