Farmers in the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) in the UK must meet new standards in using Critically Important Anti-biotics (CIA) from the end of January.

Fluoroquinolones and modern cephalosporins are deemed to be in the CIA category as they are important for use in human medicine.

The new guidelines being introduced by the retailer will allow vets to make prescriptions for CIAs, but only with proof that no other medicines would be suited to treating the disease. If non-CIA’s could be used then farmers will be expected to use them instead. Farmers in TSDG will have to report on their anti-biotic use four times a year and will be subject to audits.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a critically important issue and the whole industry must work together in order to tackle it,” a spokesperson for Tesco told the Farmers Weekly.

“We’re working with farmers from our Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group to promote best practice and help ensure antibiotics are used appropriately.”

Other suggested options for treating animals included vaccinations and better building design that would lower the risk of disease outbreaks.

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