Latest VARSS Report provides useful insight into sales of antibiotics for dogs and cats, recording a downward trend since 2014

Today has seen the launch of the latest UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance Report (UK-VARSS 2021) which includes useful insight into the sales of antibiotics in dogs and cats. RUMA CA&E is pleased to see a broadly downward trend in sales since 2014.

RUMA CA&E’s current work is focused on the responsible use of antibiotics in dogs and cats.

RUMA CA&E Secretary General, Steve Howard, says: “It is pleasing to see a broadly downward trend in antibiotic sales metrics since 2014 in dogs and cats in the VARSS Report, particularly the ongoing reductions in HPCIA sales in both dogs and cats. However, the slight upturn in the overall sales metric for 2021 is a concern, which demonstrates why such insight is vital in helping to understand emerging trends and define where action is needed. Using evidence to drive decisions, areas of focus and activities, is vital.

“Over the past year through collaboration from many stakeholders, work has been undertaken to develop metrics for monitoring and benchmarking use in dogs and cats in the first instance, with equine being the next area of focus, as well as identifying key areas where antibiotic stewardship can be improved, including how to continue reductions in the use of HP-CIAs. This is an ongoing journey of refinement however, and once all measures become embedded and baselines established, realistic benchmarks or targets can then be set which will take into consideration that the CA&E sectors are complex, with many different factors at play. Our website has also been updated to include links to resources and research about antibiotic stewardship in dogs, cats and horses which we would encourage the profession to use (Measures, Resources & Research – RUMA CA&E (

“These important building blocks we are putting in place will maintain focus in this vital area, provide baselines and benchmarks , and in time, evidence of progress and a demonstration of how the Companion Animal and Equine sectors can contribute towards achieving the Government’s 20-year vision and five-year national plan for how the UK will contain and control AMR.”

Gwyn Jones, RUMA CA&E Chair and the former Chair of RUMA Agriculture adds: “Whilst we acknowledge there are many complex challenges to take into account across the companion animal and equine sectors when it comes to antibiotic stewardship, what is recognised is the opportunity that exists to make a positive impact on AMR and protect the role of antibiotics in both human and animal health for the future.”