McDonald’s said it will begin globally implementing a new chicken antibiotics policy in markets starting in 2018 to limit antibiotic resistance to drugs and increase of superbugs.
In 2016, the company said they committed to serve broiler chicken not treated with antibiotics that are important to human medicine called Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials (HPCIA) defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Starting in 2018, we will begin implementing a new broiler chicken antibiotics policy in markets around the world…To make sure this policy can be effectively implemented, we are taking a tiered approach”, it said.
The company also said HPCIAs will be removed in broiler chicken for Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea, United Sates and Europe, excluding Colistin for Europe only.
By the end of 2019, same strategy will be adopted for Australia and Russia, with Europe taking out Colistin.
The conglomerate added their goal before January 2027 is to implement the removal of HPCIAs in all other designated markets around the world.
“We view this progress as significant milestones in our food journey, where we can achieve impactful change on a key issue, and we feel that these timelines give McDonald’s and suppliers the ability to set credible, achievable goals”, it noted.
Since 2013, McDonald’s has continued its policy on antibiotic use in food animals as antibiotic resistance is “important issue for people and animals.”
The company released this year an update to our Global Vision for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animals (VAS) which seeks to preserve antibiotic effectiveness in the future through ethical practices today.
“As a framework for antibiotic stewardship, the VAS seeks animal production practices that reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the need for antibiotic therapies in food animals, by adopting existing best practices and/or new practices,” it said.
“With that said, we understand that animals, like people, get sick and require treatment. Treating sick animals is consistent with McDonald’s long-standing commitment to animal health and welfare and to improve the lives of animals in our supply chain. Engaging farmers, producers and veterinarians in the responsible use of antibiotics is key to our vision of preserving antibiotic effectiveness through ethical practices,” it added.