CANADA - McDonald's Canada is following the example of the US chain and moving to source only chicken raised without medically-important antibiotics.
“McDonald’s believes antibiotics have important benefits, but that a few sensible changes to our policy can both maintain their most important benefits while helping to reduce their use overall,” said Rob Dick, Senior Director of McDonald’s Canada supply chain.
The change will be implemented in the next three years.
McDonald’s Canada said in a statement that it will only source chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine, the farmers who supply chicken for its menu will continue to responsibly use ionophores.
Chicken Farmers of Canada said in a statement that the move is "consistent with the overall direction of the Canadian chicken industry and plays a role in advancing Canada’s ongoing, long-term Antimicrobial Use (AMU) Strategy".
“Antimicrobial reduction continues to be a concern for farmers, consumers, and public health experts,” said Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Dave Janzen.
“While they are an important part of modern human and animal medicine, Chicken Farmers of Canada supports the responsible use of antimicrobials to maintain animal health, animal welfare, and food safety. Ultimately, the goal of the AMU strategy is to ensure the continued effectiveness of antibiotics while providing continued confidence to consumers.”
The organisation said that the preventive use of Category I antibiotics had already been achieved throughout the Canadian chicken sector. Category I antibiotics are those considered most important to human health.