Young student activists, pushing for fewer antibiotics in food, stood in front of the Subway store at 385 State Rd. in Dartmouth on Thursday holding signs.

However, these weren’t protest signs, they were thank you signs.

Suzy Durling, the Coordinator for the Antibiotic Campaign for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group at UMass Dartmouth explained why the group undertook the show of gratitude.

“We’re working to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, and we’ve been doing a lot of work with Subway trying to ask them to go antibiotic free with their meat,” said Durling.

“Recently they did disclose that they would be phasing out antibiotics in their meat and so we’re here to thank them.”

As part of the agreement reached on Tuesday, MASSPIRG says Subway will serve only antibiotic free chicken by the end of 2016, turkey by 2019, and pork and beef by 2025.

Durling said this was a major public health victory.

“Over 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. is actually going towards animals that aren’t necessarily sick, on factory farms,” said Durling.

Durling says having so many antibiotics ingested by humans will in the end make people sicker.

“The more you ingest antibiotics the less effective they are and they’re creating superbugs that are antibiotic resistant,” said Durling.

The group is urging other large chains to follow Subway’s lead, saying that in the end it will make antibiotic free meat cheaper.

“The more demand there is for antibiotic free meat the cheaper it will eventually be, because factory farms will have to make that switch.”