Tyson Foods has announced its intention to eliminate human antibiotics from its chickens over the next two years in an effort to impede the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. Under the plans announced on April 28, Tyson said it will phase out antibiotics in its chicken flock by 2017. The company also said it plans to work with its suppliers to reduce antibiotic use in cattle, hogs, and turkeys. Tyson is one of several companies to take these steps recently – McDonald’s has said that it will use only chickens raised without certain types of antibiotics, Perdue Farms has said that 95% of its chickens are never given antibiotics, and Pilgrim’s Pride reports a reduction in antibiotic use. The concern is that the use of antibiotics used to treat sick chickens then makes those antibiotics less effective in humans, which can lead to the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. Tyson has said that it will continue to treat sick animals but will work to develop alternatives to antibiotics used on farms.

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