Tyson Foods, Inc. has set a goal to eliminate the use of human antibiotics from its U.S. broiler* chicken flocks by the end of September 2017, and stated that it has already stopped using all antibiotics in its 35 broiler hatcheries, requires a veterinary prescription for antibiotics used on broiler farms and has “reduced human antibiotics used to treat broiler chickens by more than
80% since 2011.”
“Antibiotic resistant infections are a global health concern,” said Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “We’re confident our meat and poultry products are safe, but want to do our part to responsibly reduce human antibiotics on the farm so these medicines can
continue working when they’re needed to treat illness.”
“One of our core values is to serve as responsible stewards of animals – we will not let sick animals suffer,” Smith continued. “We believe it’s our responsibility to help drive action towards sustainable solutions to this challenge by working with our chicken, turkey, beef and pork
Tyson Foods, Inc is headquartered in Springdale, AR, and is one of the world’s largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson(R), Jimmy Dean(R), Hillshire Farm(R), Sara Lee(R) frozen desserts, Ball Park(R), Wright(R), Aidells(R) and State Fair(R). The company was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, whose family has continued to lead the business with his son, Don Tyson, guiding the company for many years and grandson, John H. Tyson, serving as the current chairman of the board of directors. Tyson Foods provides a wide variety of protein-based and prepared foods products and is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, supplying consumers throughout the US as well as approximately 130 countries. It has approximately 124,000 Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.
The company also announced that it is working to organize working groups with independent farmers and others in the company’s beef, pork and turkey supply chains to discuss ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms. Those groups will begin meeting this summer. In addition, its international business is “committed to taking similar measures on antibiotic use in its global chicken operations, ” but has not set a timeframe.
Note: When antibiotics are used in livestock and poultry, strict withdrawal periods must be followed before the animals are processed for food. In addition, the USDA regularly tests meat and poultry for antibiotic residues.