Tyson Foods announcement that it would no longer buy cattle fed Zilmax growth promotant came after 15 feedlot cattle arrived at its packing plant in Washington State without hooves.
Documents recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture and reported by Reuters news agency indicate it was not the only case of cattle with missing hooves.
All of these cattle arrived at packing plants during hot weather.
Merck withdrew Zilmax from the market after other packers joined the ban and has undertaken more trials.
Veterinarians are divided in their opinions about the safety of Zilmax, judging by interviews reported by Reuters. Some believe that Zilmax alone is not the issue, but that it’s a combination of factors that results in the painful loss of hooves.
Zilmax remains on the list of approved feed additives in both the United States and Canada, but Merck’s decision to withdraw it from the market has given the regulators time to assess the situation.