Citing its commitment to helping producers use Zilmax™ responsibly, Merck Animal Health announced Aug. 16 that it would temporarily suspend sales of its beta-agonist zilpaterol hydrochloride in the U.S. and Canada. Merck earlier pledged to implement a “Five step plan to responsible beef,” committing to conducting scientific audit and recertifying every feeder, nutritionist and veterinarian authorized to feed the popular additive. This all comes as a response to Tyson's announcement last week that it would no longer buy Zilmax-fed cattle after Sept. 6.

According to a statement, suspending sales will allow the company sufficient time for the establishment of valid study protocols, identification of feeders and packers to participate in the audit, and creation of a third-party team to oversee this process and validate its results.

Read more about Merck's decision to suspend sales here.

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