We are striving to eliminate human antibiotics from our broiler chicken* production by September 2017 and we’ll publish the progress made toward this goal beginning with our 2015 Sustainability Report.
Antibiotic-resistance is a global concern and we see it as our responsibility to be part of a solution. We’ve already made a lot progress. We’ve stopped using them in our 35 hatcheries and have reduced the use of human antibiotics in our broiler chickens by more than 80 percent since 2011. Only a small percentage of our broiler chickens ever receive human antibiotics. These medicines are given only as needed and only as prescribed by a veterinarian.
We’re also forming working groups with independent farmers and others in our beef, pork and turkey supply chains to discuss ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on their farms. Those groups will begin meeting in summer 2015. Tyson Foods’ international business is committed to taking similar measures on antibiotic use in its global chicken operations but has not set a timeframe.
To meet our goal we must find new ways to reduce the need for human antibiotics on the farm. We have a responsibility to treat sick animals and animal well-being will never be compromised. We plan to work with food industry, government, veterinary, public health and academic communities, and provide funding, to accelerate research into disease prevention and antibiotic alternatives on the farm. We also are getting input from an Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel, which is made up of independent advisors.
*Broilers are chickens raised for meat.