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Submitted Letters's Blog


Sharpe: Letter regarding Ractopamine

Published: August 25, 2015 1:05 pm ET

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This memo is to comment on the CPMA press release issued on Friday, August 21st, regarding “Ractopamine In Feedstuffs Update”.

In the press release, the CPMA “reminds race horse owners and trainers that it remains their responsibility to obtain horse feed and supplements that are free from substances that may trigger a positive test such as ractopamine.” It goes on to suggest that “Race horse trainers and owners may wish to obtain their feed from facilities that have been designated as Type A which are those commercial facilities that manufacture, handle and/or distribute only feeds that do not contain ractopamine.” The press release then gives a CFIA link to view the status of mills involved in the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification program.

While we commend the efforts of CPMA to bring awareness to the issue of safe manufacturing of feed by avoiding purchasing feed supplied by mills that include Ractopamine in their production, the list provided by CFIA is far from being inclusive in safe options available to Ontario’s horsemen. The list does not include any of the drug-free equine production facilities in Ontario, such as Agribrands Purina in Strathroy, Brooks Feeds in Port Perry, and Sharpe Farm Supplies in Moffat. None of these plants are listed on the CFIA website as they do not manufacture pig feed, hence are not part of the CFIA Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Program. These plants are completely drug-free, not just Ractopamine free, offering zero chance of feed contamination from medications, which puts them in a classification far above any type A or B designation when it comes to feed safety! To be a Type A plant, the feed mill cannot use Ractopamine in their manufacturing, but can use a number of other medications in the feed mill such as Rumensin, which is deadly to horses. For complete feed safety, horsemen should be asking for more than just a Type A designation of their feed supplier.

Paul Sharpe
Sharpe Farm Supplies

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

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