mcdonalds chicken mcnuggets© John Chapple/Rex/Shutterstock

Global fast food giant McDonald’s has faced renewed pressure over the use of antibiotics in farm animals destined for its supply chain.

Charity ShareAction has launched a new online campaign calling on consumers to write to the restaurant’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook about what it calls the “overuse of medically important antibiotics in its beef, pork and poultry supply chains”.

See also: Antibiotics: Conference places pressure on use in poultry

ShareAction said the restaurant chain needed to tighten its standards and make them uniform across the globe.

It welcomed McDonalds’ move to phase out medically important antibiotics from its US supply chain and ending the use of the “highest priority critically important” antibiotics within its European poultry supply chains by 2018.

The online campaign follows a move in April by an investment vehicle controlling more than $1tn in assets to request that McDonald’s end the routine use of antibiotics.

‘Concern’

Catherine Howarth, ShareAction chief executive, said: “Investors are right to express their concern directly to the board of McDonald’s, and now as individuals we can too. Improved animal welfare practices are a far more sensible way to prevent disease than antibiotic overuse.

“We hope this action will encourage McDonald’s to supersize their ambition – now is the time for action.”

Emma Rose, spokeswoman from the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, said: “McDonald’s has an opportunity to demonstrate global leadership by committing to phase out the routine use of antibiotics entirely – not just limited to chicken in its US market and doing so would drive up standards across the industry.”