We’ve set a goal to eliminate the use of human antibiotics from our broiler chicken production by September 2017. Antibiotic-resistance is a global concern and we see it as our responsibility to be part of a solution.
We’ve made a lot progress. We’ve stopped using human antibiotics in our 35 hatcheries and reduced their use in our broiler chickens by more than 80 percent since 2011. Only a small percentage of our broiler chickens ever receive human antibiotics, which are given only as needed and only as prescribed by a veterinarian.
We’ve formed 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. Our international business is committed to taking similar measures on antibiotic use in its chicken operations but has not set a timeframe.
To meet our goal, we’re working on ways to reduce the need for human antibiotics on the farm by using alternatives, such as probiotics and essential oils, improved housing and selective breeding. We have a responsibility to treat sick animals and animal well-being will never be compromised. We’re working with food industry, government, veterinary, public health and academic communities to accelerate research into disease prevention and antibiotic alternatives. 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.