Antibiotics have improved the lives of millions of people and animals. The prudent use of antibiotics makes our food supply safer and enhances animal well-being by treating, controlling, and preventing diseases, which can cause suffering and premature death in food animals. Misuse of antibiotics in all forms—whether in human or animal medicine or plant agriculture—may contribute to the emergence of resistant microorganisms. Therefore, Smithfield Foods is committed to the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics through the following practices:
- Preventative Management: Maintaining a robust animal health management program overseen by veterinarians, which includes sound animal husbandry practices, preventive herd health examinations, vaccinations, and proactive assessments of potential health threats.
- Veterinary Oversight: Veterinary oversight and consultation prior to selection and use of any antibiotic usage governed by prior written authorized or prescriptions, guided by extensive and regular diagnostic testing and analysis, and targeted and appropriately timed for the specific disease of concern.
- Limited Use: Veterinary administration of antibiotics classified as important for treating human disease by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only when necessary for animal health and food safety. No use of antibiotics classified as important for treating human disease by the FDA for feed efficiency and growth promotion purposes.
- Strict Compliance with U.S. Law: Meeting or exceeding all antimicrobial withdrawal times established by the FDA and the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD). Antibiotics use limited to those approved and labeled for animal use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and adherence to all applicable laws governing antibiotics.
- Recordkeeping and Reporting: Tracking and publicly reporting antibiotic use.
- Continuous Improvement and Research: Ongoing commitment to research to identify new technologies that improve animal health and minimize antibiotic use.
Adherence to the principles of this policy is the responsibility and requirement of all individuals who interact with the animals owned or managed by Smithfield’s hog production business. Failure to abide by the policy will be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including possible termination.
This policy is based on Smithfield’s commitment to producing safe and wholesome meat products for its customers, as well as the company’s continuing commitment to animal care. The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.