McDonald’s releases an update to its Global Vision for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animals (VAS) today, which seeks to preserve antibiotic effectiveness in the future through ethical practice.
“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,” states McDonald’s. “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.”
According to the press statement, McDonald’s will develop specific policies and implementation timelines for suppliers providing chicken, beef, pork, dairy products and eggs for its restaurants. The new revisions to the food chain’s antibiotic policy begin with new requirements for broiler chicken. Starting in 2018, McDonald’s will begin implementing a new broiler chicken antibiotics policy in markets around the world, which will require the elimination of antibiotics defined by the World Health Organization as Highest Priority Critically Important (“HPCIA”) to human medicine. The timeline for chicken can be found here.
At this time all other species specifications are not released.