“Since the antibiotic typically used in hatcheries is important to human health, this is a significant first step toward our goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine,” the company stated.
Last month, Perdue announced that it made the same transition.
Tyson still uses antibiotics in chicken feed “when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease” and said that the “vast majority of the antibiotics” they use aren’t used in humans.
The company also said that it’s researching “alternative treatments and protocols that will eventually eliminate the application of any antibiotics used in human medicine from poultry feed.”
Tyson offers a completely antibiotic-free chicken under its NatureRaised Farms brand.
Steven Roach, senior analyst for Keep Antibiotics Working, said that the coalition is pleased about the change, but that there’s still room for improvement.
“Tyson’s position on using human class drugs for disease prevention is something we oppose and seems to be a step backward for Tyson. So kudos on the hatchery change, but they could do more on antibiotics in their chicken feed,” he said.