Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program



The Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program provides assurance to international markets that pigs
raised according to the program standards have never come in contact with Ractopamine and the pork produced
is free of Ractopamine residues. This assurance is provided through thorough record keeping and routine audits
at the farm and on-farm feed mill, commercial feed mill, and federally inspected slaughterhouse. All parties share the responsibility in establishing and maintaining this assurance.


Ractopamine is not a food safety hazard. It is a feed additive that increases protein synthesis. It is the active ingredient in products known as Paylean for swine and Optaflexx for cattle. Ractopamine should not be fed to male or female swine intended for reproduction, including pregnant or lactating swine or swine intended to be retained for breeding.


There are a number of export markets that do not permit the use of Ractopamine. The most important of these is China. Federally inspected processing plants target these markets and require hogs that are “Ractopamine Free”. If a producer wants to sell hogs to a federally inspected plant, the site Premise Identification (PID) must be registered under the Canadian Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Program.
Even though provincially inspected slaughterhouses, which are unable to export, may accept pigs that have been fed Ractopamine, there are so few of these operations they may not represent a viable market for all producers.


China is Canada’s third largest pork export market. It is valued at approximately $600 million annually and it does not permit the use of Ractopamine. It is also a market that has tremendous growth potential. Other markets such as Taiwan and the European Union also ban the use of Ractopamine. While not prohibited in Canada, there is unease about its use among consumers.


The list below lists the prerequisites to register a site in the CRFPCP.

Registering in the CRFPCP 

  1. Demonstrate the site possesses a valid PID number.
  2. Demonstrate the site possesses a valid PigSAFE | PigCARE status.
  3. Demonstrate the site possesses barn-exclusive herd mark(s).
  4. Have Annex 5 - On-Site Enrollment Assessment Checklist for Premise Identification (PID) site and On-Farm Feed Mills completed by an external assessor or a validator and sent to the Provincial Coordinator. A copy of Annex 5 must be kept on-site.
  5. Complete Annex 2 - Agreement between the Premise Identification (PID) site and the Slaughter Establishment, and send it to the slaughter establishment where pigs are shipped. A copy of Annex 2 must be kept on-site.


To maintain the CRFPCP registration, Annex 5.1 - Annual Assessment Checklist for PID sites and On-Farm Feed Mills must be completed by the validator and a copy must be kept on-site.


The table below lists the program requirements found in Annexes 5 and 5.1 and provide the list of documents that must be verified to assess the compliance of the requirements. The Deviation column identifies the type of non-compliance, if a requirement is not met.

PID site and/or On-Farm Feed Mill Requirements Verification Deviation
1. The site and/or on-farm feed mill possesses a valid PigSAFE | PigCARE status and the validation report is kept on file since the last validation. Certificate or letter of certification from the Provincial Office or contact the Provincial Office. Not eligible
2. The site and/or on-farm feed mill do not have any outstanding corrective action requests related to the PigSAFE | PigCARE programs. Last validation report or contact the Provincial Office. Minor
3. The site possesses barn-exclusive herd mark(s). Each barn registered in the program must have barn exclusive herd mark. Not eligible
4. This site and/or on-farm feed mill has not kept or manufactured feed containing Ractopamine in the last 12 months or since a clean-up was completed (in accordance with Annex 1) and records supporting these conditions are available to auditors upon request. Verify a subset of the feed delivery slip and PigSAFE | PigCARE Ration Used On-Farm Record or completion of Annex 1,
if applicable.
Not eligible
5. This PID site has a signed Annex 2 Agreement between the PID site and the slaughter establishment stating that the PID site met the requirements of the CRFPCP upon enrollment. Verify the Annex(es) 2 -Agreement between the PID site and the
slaughter establishment. 
6. The site and/or on-farm feed mill has obtained a signed Annex 3 (letters of guarantees) issued by an enrolled Commercial Feed Facility (Type A-B-D) and the annex is kept on file. (Annex 3 is not required for single feed ingredients (such as concentrated minerals, vitamins, flavours and enzymes, any ingredient listed on Schedule IV and V of the Feed Act) manufactured in facilities other than feed mills). Verify the Annex(es) 3 - Letters of Guarantee signed by an enrolled
feed facility. http://www.inspection.
7. The site and/or on-farm feed mill has started collecting or has the shipping documents or invoices (feed delivery slips) for each load of feed delivered since the last validation. Verify a subset of feed delivery slips for each load. Minor
8. For on-farm feed mills, the PigSAFE | PigCARE programs feed mixing and sequencing records are maintained, kept on file since the last validation and available for inspection upon request. Verify PigSAFE | PigCARE Feed Sequencing, Mixing and Distribution Record. Minor
9. The site and/or on-farm feed mill has controls in place to ensure that feeds of unknown origin are not accepted. Verify PigSAFE | PigCARE Ration Used On-Farm Record and feed delivery slips or tag. Minor
10. The site has all Annex 4 (Swine Movement Document) demonstrating that incoming animals have not been fed with feed containing Ractopamine since the last validation or since enrollment. Review a subset of the Swine Movement Document (Annex 4) for incoming animals. Minor
11. A copy of Annex 5 is kept on file stating that the PID site met the requirements of the CRFPCP. Verify if the Annex 5 is on file. Minor
12. The person in charge is aware of the CRFPCP site manager or producer responsibilities. Question the site manager or producer about their responsibilities (listed below). Minor

The site manager or producer must know and abide by their responsibilities to ensure compliance with the CRFPCP.

The responsibilities of the Site Manager and Producer:

a. Assist external assessors, Validators and/or foreign auditors with enrollment or assessment activities.

b. Maintain a valid PigSAFE | PigCARE programs status.

c. Identify and correct any deviations in a timely and appropriate manner, taking into consideration
the seriousness of the deviation and its impact.

d. In case of a major deviation, if Ractopamine is introduced or was likely to have been introduced to
the site and/or on-farm feed mill, notify the Provincial Coordinator and slaughter establishment as
soon as a deviation is observed on site or on-farm feed mill (maximum 24 hours).

e. Record keeping: The following records must be kept on-site:
i. Last PigSAFE | PigCARE validation report
ii. Annex 1 – Clean-up procedures (if applicable)
iii. Annex 2 – Agreement between the slaughter establishment and the site
iv. Annex 3 – Letters of guarantee from all commercial feed facilities
v. Annex 4 – Swine Movement Document for all incoming pigs
vi. Annex 5 – On-Site Enrollment Assessment for PID Sites and On-Farm Feed Mills
vii. Annex 5.1 - Annual Assessment Checklist for PID Sites and On-Farm Feed Mills
viii. PigSAFE | PigCARE Ration Used On-Farm Record
ix. PigSAFE | PigCARE Feed Mixing and Sequencing Record
x. Feed Delivery Slips


If a new site manager or producer is taking possession of a site or on-farm feed mill already enrolled in the CRFPCP the following responsibilities must be respected.

Responsibilities when a change of ownership occur:

a. Notify the Provincial Coordinator of any change of ownership.

b. Depending on the change of ownership, the Provincial Coordinator will indicate the requirements
that the site must meet to maintain enrollment in the CRFPCP.