California Feed Mill Ordered To Pay $2.4M After 49 Horses Suffer Monensin Poisoning

by | 11.05.2018 | 7:26am

A large animal feed mill has been ordered by a Fresno Superior Court to pay $2.4 million to plaintiffs after 49 horses became ill after consuming tainted feed in September 2015.

According to a lawsuit, Clovis, Ca.-based Western Milling manufactured and sold Western Blend Horse Feed. After consuming the feed, 49 horses became severely ill and showed signs of monensin poisoning. Twenty-one of the horses died.

While lethal to horses, mononsin is an antibiotic commonly used as a feed additive to treat other farm animals, such as cattle and poultry. The United States Food and Drug Administration has strict guidelines for feed mills regarding how machinery and equipment is to be cleaned and cleared of monensin and other potential contaminants between the processing of one feed to the next. According to the lawsuit, between December 2009 and July 2010 the FDA found “impossibly high” levels of monensin in feed samples from the company.

In addition to the lawsuit, the California Department of Food and Agriculture fined Western Milling $726,000 and revoked their commercial feed license “for repeated and multiple violations.” Western Milling has agreed to stop production of all horse feed at its Goshen plant.


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