Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club U.S. announced today new positions regarding animal welfare and the use of antibiotics in farm animals. The Animal Agriculture Alliance released the following statement, attributable to Kay Johnson Smith, alliance president and CEO.
“We appreciate Walmart’s interest in animal care and responsible use of antibiotics along with the company’s willingness to engage with stakeholders within the animal agriculture industry. The alliance would also like to take the opportunity to recognize the proactive efforts of America’s farmers and ranchers in these areas.
“The animal agriculture community, made up of farmers, ranchers, scientists, veterinarians, animal welfare experts and animal health, feed and nutrition companies, is committed to continuous improvement. Our member organizations invest considerable time and funding each year to researching and implementing solutions that ensure the health and well-being of livestock and poultry.
“To further advance animal welfare, each segment of the industry has brought together recognized animal welfare specialists, such as Dr. Temple Grandin and other researchers, to promote the highest standard of animal care and well-being. All segments of the livestock and poultry industries also have species-specific educational programs, guidelines and best management practices focused on the proper care, handling and transportation of animals. These guidelines are continuously evolving as additional research is completed.
“Farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are also taking the issue of antimicrobial resistance very seriously. Nothing is more important to the animal agriculture community than public health, animal health and well-being, and a safe food supply. The government, animal health industry, farmers and ranchers have proactively implemented multiple steps to ensure antibiotic use in food-producing animals does not affect human health and to minimize the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
"Walmart’s policy of adopting and implementing Voluntary Guidance for Industry 209, the Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food Producing Animals, is consistent with the industry’s existing efforts.
“In its announcement, Walmart states its commitment to offering affordable and sustainable food – these are values that the Alliance, our members and farmers and ranchers share. The animal agriculture community will continue to proactively address challenges and offer high-quality, safe, sustainable and affordable food for a growing and hungry world.” PD
Read more about Walmart’s new position.
—From Animal Agriculture Alliance news release