Update On Ractopamine In Feed: Standardbred Canada 11/3/2014

On Monday, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) issued an update to the horse racing industry on recent findings of ractopamine in equine feed.

This memo is further to our notice to industry on February 14, 2014 on the subject of ractopamine in feedstuffs wherein we reminded 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.

Since we issued that memo, there have been 27 additional positive drug tests for ractopamine in all racing jurisdictions in Canada except the Atlantic provinces with the majority coming from Alberta and Ontario.

The CPMA has initiated discussions with horseperson’s groups across the country to discuss ways of reducing the risk of positive ractopamine drug tests.

One suggestion is that horseperson’s groups take a proactive approach to assisting their membership locate feed facilities that do not produce feed containing ractopamine and having their feed manufacturers sign a letter of guarantee stating that they do not use ractopamine in the manufacturing of feed, store ractopamine on their premises or transport any mixed feed containing ractopamine.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been working with the swine and poultry sectors to develop a program that supports export to markets that require the CFIA to certify that products, exported from Canada, originate from stock that has never been fed and/or exposed to ractopamine hydrochloride. These Ractopamine-Free Certification Programs describe two types of commercial feed mills; Type A and Type B.

Type A mills are those that manufacture, handle and/or distribute only feeds that do not contain ractopamine. Type B mills manufacture, handle and/or distribute feed containing ractopamine and feed that does not contain ractopamine. Type B mills are required to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) for the prevention of ractopamine cross contamination for feed being manufactured under this program. When these new Programs are published on the CFIA web-site, a list of commercial feed mills enrolled in these Programs will also be available. This list may be used to identify the Type A facilities in your area.

According to the CFIA’s Medication Sequencing Guideline for Management of Drug Carryover, feeds for horses may not directly follow feeds containing ractopamine. Horse feeds that contain ractopamine above the limit of detection are non-compliant. However, the current level of detection is fairly high so in some cases when the horse feed conforms with this allowable limit, the feed may contain enough ractopamine to cause a positive result in the CPMA’s drug testing program.

The following links to the CFlA website provide owners and trainers with information regarding ractopamine and feedstuffs:

Annex E: Canadian Food Inspection Agency Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program

Annex I: Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program

Medication Sequencing Guideline for Management of Drug Carryover

Should you have any questions with respect to the contents of the memorandum, please contact the CPMA at 1-800-268-8835, or email at cpmawebacpm@agr.gc.ca