The Subway fast-food restaurant chain is the latest to succumb to pressure from animal welfare activist organizations, announcing that it will only buy chicken, turkey, beef and pork from farmers who don’t use antibiotics.
The sandwich chain had said this summer that it would start switching to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine by next year.
Now, it says it will serve chicken that receive no antibiotics starting in March, 2016.
That announcement came just as animal activist groups were organizing a street protest in front of the company’s head office in Upland, California.
Subway will also make the change to turkey starting sometime next year, with a transition expected to be complete within two to three years.
Pork and beef raised without antibiotics will follow within six years after that, or by 2025, the company says.
Subway said its announcement was the "culmination of several months of intensive work with suppliers" and that it is proud to finally be in a position to share its plans.
It said the decision was not a reaction to any campaign, and that it continually works on improving its menu.
The announcement comes as multiple groups including Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, the Center for Food Safety, U.S. Public Interest Research Group and food blogger Vani Hari had campaigned to get Subway to commit to buying meat produced without the routine use of antibiotics, and provide a timeline for doing so.