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Hog feed additive approved for variable dose

Elanco Canada has picked up approval for what it describes as a more flexible range of doses for its swine feed additive Paylean.

Paylean was already approved for doses of five parts per million (ppm) to improve hogs’ weight gain and feed efficiency, and 10 ppm for increased carcass leanness and dressing per cent. The new approval allows Paylean to be given to hogs at rates between five and 10 ppm.

“The increased flexibility provided by the new dose range will bring additional benefits to Canadian pork producers who use Paylean,” swine marketing associate Peter Mumford of Elanco Canada said in the company’s release Wednesday.

Mumford cited product data to state that increasing Paylean doses to 7.5 ppm from five gives hogs an additional four per cent improvement in feed efficiency, another four per cent increase in average daily gain and another one-kilogram increase in total weight gain over the course of the feeding period.

The active ingredient in Paylean is ractopamine hydrochloride, which according to the company works to “increase the natural process of protein synthesis, at the expense of fat synthesis, resulting in increased muscle fibre size.”

The resulting effects on carcass composition are directly related to the increase in muscle metabolism and, because lean tissue is more efficient to produce than fat, pigs fed Paylean convert feed to weight more effectively, Elanco said.

“For Canadian producers, this means fewer days to market, an increase in carcass weight of lightweight pigs and an increase in kilograms of pork sold in a fixed number of pig spaces,” Elanco swine veterinarian Dr. Isabelle Moreau said in the same release.

And improvement in feed to gain means less feed per kilogram of pork produced, which contributes to cost savings and reduced environmental impact of pork production, she said.

Paylean has a zero-day withdrawal and is quickly excreted from the pig’s body, the company said, adding that from a land stewardship perspective, hog producers, by increasing their animals’ nutrient retention, can decrease the hogs’ total manure and nitrogen output.

But the product also has its share of critics, not the least of whom are Chinese government regulators, who for years have blocked imports of Canadian and U.S. pork from Paylean-treated hogs and have banned the additive’s use in that country since 2002.

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