RSPCA opposes plans to introduce zilpaterol hydrochloride for feedlot cattle. 

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) recently concluded its public consultations on the introduction of zilpaterol hydrochloride, a beta agonist, for feedlot cattle.

RSPCA Australia does not support the approval of zilpaterol hydrochloride or the registration of products containing zilpaterol hydrochloride in Australia. Zilpaterol hydrochloride is used to improve production but offers no health benefit to cattle. 

Indeed, feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride exposes cattle to an increased risk of poor animal health and welfare outcomes, including mortality, heat stress, respiratory disease, lameness, and agonistic behaviour. 

As animal welfare is of increasing concern to consumers, both in Australia and overseas, should the APVMA approve zilpaterol hydrochloride – a growth-promoting feed additive – it is unlikely to engender trust in Australian beef which currently has the reputation of being clean, green and safe to eat.