A California agriculture agency says horse feed manufacturer Western Milling must pay a $526,500 cash fine to the state. It is part of a settlement agreement for producing monensin contaminated horse feed.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture states the Goshen facility manufactured the tainted horse feed in September 2015. More than a dozen show horses died or were euthanized due to monensin toxicity.
Dozens of surviving horses at two horse farms can’t be ridden due to the damage caused by the toxin. Monensin is for improving feed efficiency in cattle but is highly poisonous to horses affecting the heart and skeletal muscles.
A Horse Authority investigation in early 2016 found that Western Milling knew about cross-contamination issues for years although the company failed to make the necessary corrections. The CDFA was investigating the company’s practices at that time.
CDFA’s Feed and Livestock Drugs Inspection Program and Western Milling’s settlement states the Goshen facility must install $200,000 worth of new equipment to ensure feed safety measures over and above industry standards.
Despite the upgrades, the O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling Company subsidiary is discontinuing the manufacturing of horse feed at the Goshen facility.
CDFA’s Feed and Livestock Drugs Inspection Program enforces manufacturing, distribution, and labeling regulations for commercial livestock feed.
Did you know monensin toxicity in horses may look like a neurological issue?
Monensin toxicity may be misdiagnosed when a single horse becomes terminally ill at a farm with only one resident equine. Another situation is if one horse is eating a different feed than the rest of the stable. An immediate necropsy after death, as well as testing the feed for contaminants, prior to making contact with the feed company, is imperative.
WARNING: Do not push play unless you are looking for an educational opportunity to see the warning symptoms of monensin poisoning in horses.
The video is difficult to watch.