Ractopamine angst

Russia’s decision to ban imports of meat that may have been produced using ractopamine has led to increased questions about livestock growth promotants. Ractopamine is a beta-agonist used by many cattle feedlots near the end of the feeding period to increase growth rate, feed efficiency, and carcass leanness.

Like vaccines and other veterinary products, all growth promotants Continue reading

Explaining Growth Promotants Used in Feedlot Cattle

Feed efficiency in cattle can make or break profitability in the feeding sector, and has environmental implications. The costs of buying a calf and the feed needed to finish it are the two largest variable expenses facing the beef cattle feeding sector. Feed costs are higher than ever because of poor growing conditions in major grain producing countries, because of the use of feed grains in ethanol production, and because of increasing competition of land for crop production versus urban development.

Growth promotants are among the many sophisticated tools used by feedlots and other producers to raise more beef, more rapidly, using less feed, while maintaining high standards of animal health, carcass quality and food safety. Growth promotants include ionophores, growth implants, and beta-agonists. A number of products within each category are approved for use by Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate. Continue reading