Former AHDB director of Knowledge Exchange Chris Lloyd has been announced as the new secretary general of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) alliance.
He will take over on January 1, succeeding John FitzGerald who he retires at the end of this year. Mr Lloyd has a background in the livestock sector, having graduated from Writtle Agricultural College and then spent 16 years working for the National Sheep Association.
In 1999 he was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study the sheep industries of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He joined EBLEX in 2003 to deliver firstly the Sheep, then the Beef Better Returns Programme.
He subequenty held other positions including Director for Knowledge Exchange across all AHDB sectors and more recently led AHDB activity on AMR across the three livestock sectors, before leaving the levy board in July this year.
Mr Lloyd takes over at a time when significant progress is being made towards responsible use of antibiotics in UK farming. This includes a record low in antibiotic sales to the farming industry and the publication of a set of demanding targets to further reduce, refine or replace antibiotic use over the next three years.
He said he was looking forward to joining RUMA as its work is needed more than ever. “The challenge of AMR and the wider drive for responsible use of all medicines will be ever present for the livestock sectors over the next few years,” he said.
Mr Fitzgerald said he was pleased to have seen such significant progress in his last 18 months at the helm. “RUMA has transformed from more of an advisory organisation to really driving change across the main livestock sectors in terms of antibiotic use. I’m proud to have been involved at this critical time, and pleased to leave at a point when our farming industry has proved a leader in this antibiotic resistance debate,” he said.
RUMA chair Gwyn Jones Mr FitzGerald has seen the industry through a transformative time and left RUMA ‘in an immeasurably stronger position than when he joined six years ago’. “He will be deeply missed,” said Mr Jones.
“However, we are looking forward to Chris joining and bringing a new outlook. The progress achieved over the past two years has been hard won, and the job is to now build on that as our challenges evolve. We have exciting times ahead.”