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Submitted Letters's Blog


August 27: Purina's comments on the CPMA Ractopamine Update

Published: August 27, 2015 2:00 pm ET

Last Comment: August 28, 2015 12:23 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

You have received a memo regarding Ractopamine on August 21st from the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (see below), suggesting to purchase horse feed from Type A feed mills to avoid Ractopamine contamination.

We feel the information sent is misleading and is potentially putting horses at risk of being in contact with other feed medication, including ionophores (eg Rumensin). Relying on the Type A feed mill designation when purchasing horse feed creates a false sense of security, because the facility can use all other feed medications except Ractopamine.

Moreover, the CPMA press release gives a CFIA link to view the status of mills involved in the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification program. This list is far from being inclusive in terms of safe options available for horse owners. The list does not include any drug free equine production facilities like the Purina plant in Strathroy, Ontario

As you probably already know, Strathroy does not manufacture pig feed, therefore is not part of the CFIA Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Program. The Purina Strathroy feed plant is not a Type A facility. Strathroy is a drug free facility, which is a class by itself.

We would like to clarify a few key points as follows and we feel it is important that your members are aware of these:

  • In 2013 CFIA on initiative of the Canadian pork industry developed the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program (a 57 page copy of the program is available upon request). This to allow continued export of Canadian pork to Russia which did not permit use of Ractopamine for the production of pork.

  • Within this pork certification program CFIA created two types of feed mill designations;

    • Type A Ractopamine-free: Feed mills that do not have Ractopamine on their premises (they either never used the drug or stopped using it)

    • Type B Ractopamine-free: Feed mills that use Ractopamine and use sequencing and flushing procedures to avoid cross-contamination of Ractopamine with feeds that should not contain this drug.

  • What does it mean for a horse owner to buy horse feed from a Type A feed mill?

    • The horse feed would be manufactured in a feed mill that does not have Ractopamine on site but the mill may be using any other feed medication, including ionophores. (eg Rumensin)

    • Simply stated, Type A feed mills can use all medications except Ractopamine. In addition, Type A facilities are permitted to source ingredients from Type A and Type B facilities. Therefore, ingredients used at a Type A feed mill could come from facilities that use Ractopamine (Type B).

  • Which type is the Purina Strathroy plant?

    • The Purina Strathroy plant is medication free, a classification far above the Type A or Type B Ractopamine-free designation. Strathroy simply has no drugs of any kind.

    • Ingredients used at Strathroy are sourced from facilities that do not use medicated feed additives in their production systems.

    • Ingredients received at Strathroy are unloaded only if the previous loads was a verified approved material.

    • Purina horse feed is shipped in bags, preventing contamination during transport.

You will find more information on our Strathroy Facility via this short video:

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

August 28, 2015 - 12:23 amCPMA seems opening up a can

terry gudz SAID...

CPMA seems opening up a can of worms by not researching dangers in feed to racehorses.please sent your comments to minister ritz since they cpma will never address your concerns in a timely fashion!

August 27, 2015 - 9:04 pmIt is also important to note

It is also important to note that the use of ractopamine in Canada is NOT limited to hog feeds. In Canada ractopamine can also be fed to Beef cattle and Turkeys. (Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures #82).

The approved products and strengths are:

1.Paylean 20 contains ractopamine hydrochloride at 20 g/kg (Elanco).
2.Optaflexx 100 contains ractopamine hydrochloride at 100 g/kg (Elanco).
3.Engain 20 contains ractopamine hydrochloride at 20 g/kg (Zoetis Canada Inc.).
4.Actogain 100 contains ractopamine hydrochloride at 100 g/kg (Zoetis Canada Inc.).

The Optaflex 100 and Actogain 100 products are used in Beef feeds. The others in swine and Turkey rations. Please note the beef product is 5 times stronger than the swine/turkey product. The potential for contamination is greater.

This means that mills that do not feed hogs and have therefore not needed to sign up for the CFIA Ractopamine Free Program can still be a source of high levels of ractopamine contamination. A series of ractopamine positive tests in Alberta about a year ago were caused by contamination from beef feed, not swine feeds. It is important to ask all feed mills manufacturing horse feeds if they use ractopamine for any species as the hog free designation does not cover all the bases.

A very small amount of Ractopamine can go a very long way.. ASK first!

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