Any U.S. pork that is shipped to Canada will have to test free of carbadox residue. Canadian officials announced last month that they will allow products from animals raised using carbadox; however, there is a zero tolerance for residues on imported pork products.

Canada is the third-largest importer of U.S. pork and pork products, which were valued at $437 million in 2006. Should a product recall or any other measure that would restrict U.S. pork and pork products occur, it would be detrimental to the entire U.S. pork industry. The United States now exports about 15 percent of its total annual pork production. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of carbadox as an antibacterial to control certain gastrointestinal pathogens and to improve nutritional efficiency in swine. However, given Canada’s position, National Pork Board officials are reminding pork producers to follow PQA Plus’ Good Production Practices when administering carbadox to pigs, and specifically to:

  • Follow the product manufacturer’s mixing, administration and withdrawal guidelines.
  • Identify all animals and maintain accurate records of animals receiving carbadox. This is to ensure that withdrawal times are completed before animals are marketed.
  • Make sure all feeders, mixers and other equipment are completely purged and cleaned between feed batches to avoid cross-contamination of feed with carbadox.
  • Empty feeders and bins between pig groups to ensure animals that aren’t supposed to receive carbadox don’t have access to it.
  • Clearly identify all animal-health products, including carbadox, as well as all feeds and medicated feeds.
  • Communicate with all of your employees and workers about the importance of following appropriate withdrawal times for carbadox and all other animal-health products.

Contact your herd veterinarian if you have questions about carbadox, its use or withdrawal.

Follow this link for information about drug withdrawal periods required to satisfy domestic and Japanese markets, for many products used in pork production. If a specific product’s guidelines are not listed on that site, follow all label instructions or contact the manufacturer.