By Chris Rademacher—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa — Several United States meat processors have recently announced their intention to process only pigs that are free of ractopamine. This has led to many questions about what it means to sell “ractopamine-free pigs.”
Locke Karriker, professor with the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State, and Chris Rademacher, clinical professor and extension swine veterinarian at Iowa State, have developed a frequently asked questions document to help answer those questions.
The article, “Ractopamine Free Pork and Implications for Use in Growing Pigs: Frequently Asked Questions” offers a summary of the relevant scientific data about ractopamine, and includes producer experiences and anecdotal information to guide producers adjusting to the new requirements.
This document is intended for pork producers, swine exhibition participants, feed manufacturers, and veterinarians. It will be updated as new questions arise.
Also, a new document from Jodi Sterle, associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State, incorporates available information into the decision-making process for management of market hog exhibitions, fairs, and shows by providing options for consideration.
The article “Ractopamine (PayleanTM) Use in Show Pigs: Show Management Considerations for 2020” offers information, options and explanations for organizers, exhibitors, and others associated with swine shows.
It cautions readers that every situation is unique, and each show, fair, and exhibition must make the decision that works for their specific circumstance.
Ractopamine is an FDA-approved feed additive used to produce leaner pork.