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Merck Suspends Zilmax Sales in US and Canada

19 August 2013

GLOBAL – Merck animal health has suspended sales of Zilmax in the United States and Canada until conclusions can be drawn from the five-step responsible beef itinerary, announced last week.

In an announcement of Friday, Merck stated animal health and well-being is the 'first and foremost priority' the company has and that products are developed based on ‘comprehensive research, rigorous testing and sound science.’

Before further steps can be taken, Merck is awaiting on the conclusions of scientific industry audits that will track cattle through the feedyard to the packing plant to determine lameness cases.

Transportation, offloading and staging processes are to be scrutinised.

An independent advisory board comprising industry experts, producers, academics and Merck directors is to open a discussion on animal well-being with a view to strengthening the company’s future programme.

Merck is confident in the safety and performance of the Zilmax and said it believes in the ‘science that supports it’.

K J Varma, Senior Vice President at Merck’s Global Research and Development added that this is based on Merck’s own research and that of academic institutions.

"We remain confident in the safety of the product, based on our own extensive research and that of regulators and academic institutions, and are committed to the well-being of the animals that receive it,” said Mr Varma.

Mr Varma added: “This important step demonstrates our commitment to providing our industry partners with data that will reaffirm confidence in Zilmax. We sincerely regret that this situation creates business challenges for our customers but it is critical to ensure that this process is conducted appropriately and with rigorous scientific measures. After the five-step plan is completed, the results will be shared publicly."

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