Tyson Foods, Inc. announced this week that they plan to completely eliminate the use of human antibiotics from its chicken flocks by the end of September 2017. The decision comes as public health concerns grow regarding the overuse of antibiotics and the way it adds to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance worldwide.

According to a statement issued by the company, Tyson Foods 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 percent since 2011.”

“Antibiotic resistant infections are a global health concern,” says 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.”

“Given the progress we’ve already made reducing antibiotics in our broilers, we believe it’s realistic to shoot for zero by the end of our 2017 fiscal year. But we won’t jeopardize animal well-being just to get there. We’ll use the best available treatments to keep our chickens healthy, under veterinary supervision,” Smith says.

This summer Tyson Foods will begin collaborating with beef, pork and turkey suppliers to figure out ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms. The company plans to report its progress annually, beginning with its fiscal 2015 Sustainability Report.