In the past few days, Costco and McDonalds have both announced a change to antibiotic free meats in their stores and restaurants. It all sounds good to consumers and has – as both companies had hoped – generated ample headlines and media buzz.
Spokespersons for both companies noted that they would no longer be selling meat from animals treated with “shared-use” antibiotics, meaning antibiotics used on both humans and animals. While most consumers have been lead to believe that all antibiotics are shared-use, the truth is nearly three-fourth of all antibiotics used in animals are never or rarely prescribed for humans.
The above information and infographic is from The Beef Checkoff. You can find more information about all beef products on the group’s website (www.MyBeefCheckoff.com) and Facebook page.
We use antibiotics in our cattle but only on an as-needed basis. We also document all uses of antibiotics to ensure a sick animal never enters the food supply. Over the years we have added several preventative measure to keep sickness and infection at bay. That includes more open-space calving – meaning we will let the mothers deliver their babies in the open pasture instead of keeping her in the barn to deliver. We also treat sick calves with electrolytes to re-energize the body and have purchased several warming stations to help cold calves restore their normal body temperature and re-gain their strength.
We don’t want to have to doctor sick calves so we do everything we can to ensure their health and well-being. But when we do find one of our calves not feeling well, it is our duty to return them to health. That’s part of being good stewards of our animals and your food.