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NUTRITION ▶▶▶


Probably the best-known feed additive in the world


The feed additive ractopamine


hydrochloride (RAC)


is well known across the globe, but not because it is applied everywhere. In many countries its use is banned, and


that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Here’s a close look at the history and current use for this substance, along with research into possible alternatives.


A finisher barn in Iowa, United States. The farm is not the subject of this article.


BY TREENA HEIN, CORRESPONDENT D 26


r Dave Thompson of the Michigan State University Extension/Pork Working Group in Michigan, USA, notes that “when used as directed, RAC safely and reliably improves average daily gain and feed effi-


ciency by 10–12%, while improving lean to fat ratio. It gives producers a chance to make a $ 9 return on a $ 3 investment, in less than a month.”


▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 5/6, 2021


In addition, Dr Thompson notes that the growth rate and effi- ciency advantages provided by RAC translate to reductions in labour and the carbon footprint of swine production. “None of the competing swine performance products that I’m aware of,” he says, “can check that many boxes.”


Non-ambulatory pigs However, as outlined in a paper published a few years ago in Translational Animal Science, while RAC was approved in


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