November 3, 2004:
Rumensin®, a brandname antibiotic whose active ingredient
is monensin, has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration
as a feed additive for dairy cattle. The FDA decision
now allows livestock operations to administer the drug
in order to increase production efficiency in dairy cows.
According to Elanco Animal Health, manufacturer of Rumensin,
the product is the only FDA-approved feed ingredient for
lactating and dry cows that increases digestive efficiency.
The expansion in usage was permitted despite few published
studies examining the effects of monensin in dairy cows.
Among unpublished studies conclusions seem to be inclusive
at best when researchers examined Rumenin’s ability
to increase milk yields while decreasing dry matter
intake. Further review of the studies done can be found
in Alberta Dairy Management’s paper, Feeding
Rumensin® to Lactating Cows.
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