The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) is delighted to launch its revised guidelines for farmers and vets on the Responsible Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle Production. They are available on RUMA’s new-look website at

RUMA Secretary General, John FitzGerald, said the revised guidelines were prepared as part of RUMA’s programme of regularly updating its guidelines.  He said that the new revision had been updated with extensive help from the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) for which RUMA was very grateful.

Mr FitzGerald said that the new version of the Cattle Antimicrobial Guidelines for farmers stressed the need to manage farms to reduce disease challenge and minimise antimicrobial use.  More detailed advice was included in the vets’ Guideline to help them work with their farmer clients to achieve this.  Both Guidelines include practical advice and highlight the Four Golden Rules on Disease Control i.e:

  • biosecurity to limit disease spread
  • avoid stress
  • good hygiene
  • good nutrition.

RUMA Guidelines were first introduced in 2000 and are intended as working documents.  They are updated periodically to continually provide best advice.

Now in their 3rd editions, the short version provides quick and easy guiding principles that can be used as a working document by farmers, while the longer version is aimed primarily at veterinary surgeons and other advisers, to provide more detail. 

The holistic approach to minimising disease set out by the Four Golden Rules helps reduce the need to use antimicrobials, including antibiotics, without adversely affecting animal welfare.  It is important to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance without reducing the availability of necessary antibiotics.

Like all RUMA Guidelines, the new Cattle Guidelines are available free of charge on the RUMA website