Healthy animals mean safe and healthy food, so Tyson Foods is committed to making sure the livestock and poultry are raised responsibly. Company philosophy is to use antibiotics only as needed and only when prescribed by a veterinarian, so the company has been working since 2011 to reduce the use of any antibiotics used in human medicine from chicken operations.
Tyson Foods veterinarians, researchers and hatchery managers successfully developed and tested new protocols that will enable the discontinuation of the use of antibiotics in company hatcheries. As of October 1, 2014, Tyson no longer uses antibiotics at its 35 hatcheries. Since the antibiotic typically used in hatcheries is important to human health, this is a significant first step toward the goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine.
Chicken on Farms
On the farms where chickens are raised, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved antibiotics are sometimes used in the feed, but only when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease. The vast majority of the antibiotics used to raise Tyson chickens are never used in humans and the comapny will continue to research alternative treatments and protocols that will eventually eliminate the application of any antibiotics used in human medicine from poultry feed.
Cattle and Hogs
Most livestock that are bought for our beef and pork operations come from independent cattle and hog farmers. While Tyson does not control the veterinary care of these animals, the company works with farmers and livestock industry groups to make sure antibiotics are used responsibly. In fact, many of the livestock producers that supply the company have a veterinarian on staff.
When antibiotics are used in the Tyson pork, beef or chicken supply chain, only FDA-approved antibiotics are used and FDA approved withdrawal periods are followed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regularly tests beef, pork and chicken products for antibiotic residues.