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Tyson Foods balancing antibiotic use, animal stewardship

Tyson Foods aims to remove all human-used antibiotics from poultry production but will make exceptions for sick poultry when no other treatment would be effective, Donnie Smith, president and CEO of the company, said during a panel discussion at the recent National Institute for Animal Agriculture Antibiotics Symposium.

Tyson’s approach is balanced, Smith said according to a report by WattAgNet.com.

WATTAgnet_globe“We recognize the global health concern over antibiotic resistance, and it is very important for us to play our part in addressing that issue,” Smith said.

“But it is also part of Tyson’s core values that we serve as stewards of the animals that are entrusted to us. The wellbeing of those animals is very important to us.”

Food affordability is another concern that has to be factored in, Smith added, noting that raising food animals without antibiotics isn’t cheap. “So we are trying to find the balance between the concern about antibiotic resistance, the welfare of the animals and food affordability,” he said.

In addition to Smith, representatives from Yum Brands and Costco Wholesale were on the panel and agreed that animal welfare is an important consideration regarding the use of antibiotics in food animals, according to a report on WattAgNet.com.

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