Dr. Tony M. Forshey, DVM, Chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health and state veterinarian is calling on county fairs to voluntarily control the use of Ractopamine in hogs. In response to that, the Hardin County Fair Swine Committee is considering banning the substance. The issue stems from foreign trade with China, which has banned the product.
“We are weighing all of the options,” said Charlie McCullough, chairman of the fair’s swine committee. “We want to make sure we provide the best opportunities for our youth. That includes ensuring youth have a place to market their product at the conclusion of the fair.”
Ractopamine is the active ingredient in commercial feed products such as Paylean and Optaflexx. Ractopamine is permitted for use in the US according to the Food and Drug Administration, and is safe for human consumption.
A final decision on the use of Ractopamine products will be made well in advance of the June 1 livestock ownership deadline. The decision will be announced on hardincountyfair.org, Hardin County Fair social media outlets, and local news media. Fair exhibitors will also be notified by their 4-H and FFA Advisors.