Commits to Transparent Reporting on Progress
Forms Working Groups to Address Antibiotic Use in Cattle, Hog and Turkey Production
SPRINGDALE, Ark., April 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) said today it is striving to eliminate the use of human antibiotics from its U.S. broiler* chicken flocks by the end of September 2017. The company will report annually on its progress, beginning with its fiscal 2015 Sustainability Report. 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," 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."
"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 said.
Tyson Foods is also forming 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.
Tyson Foods' international business is committed to taking similar measures on antibiotic use in its global chicken operations but has not set a timeframe.
Will Not Compromise Animal Well-Being; Need Alternatives to Human Antibiotics on Farm
Tyson Foods plans 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. The company is also getting input from its Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel, which is made up of independent advisors.
"One of our core values is to serve as responsible stewards of animals – we will not let sick animals suffer," Smith said. "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 supply chains."
Smith said today's announcement will not materially affect the company's financial performance.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world's largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee® frozen desserts, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®. 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 customers throughout the United States and 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. Through its Core Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly, provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
* Broilers are chickens raised for meat.
** 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.
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Source: Tyson Foods, Inc.