March 2015 - Is Your Horse’s Feed Safe? Within the last two months two separate cases of horses being poisoned by their feed has rocked the horse world. In both incidences the antibiotic monensin was found to be present and the cause of their deaths.
Contaminated feed is being blamed for the deaths of two South Carolina horses and the illness of another at Camelot Farms in St Helena Island, South Carolina.
It was confirmed by Michigan State University's (MSU) Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, in East Lansing, that samples of the horses' feed were contaminated with monensin. The feed tested at MSU was manufactured by ADM Alliance Nutrition, a subsidiary of the Archer Daniels Midland Co.
In a Jan. 6 written statement, ADM said it is aware of “recent comments on social media and some news outlets concerning ADM Alliance 12% horse feed and its alleged link to deaths of horses.
“We take this matter very seriously and are working with authorities to investigate these horses’ deaths,” the statement continued. “We’re not aware that authorities have made any determination as to what caused the deaths, and based on our investigation to date, we have not found any evidence that our horse feed caused or contributed to these deaths. The (initial) single sample of our horse feed tested for our customer at Michigan State University was negative for ionophores (monensin) at the detection limits for the test. We have sent additional samples for testing and will share information as soon as it’s available.” Customers with questions can contact the feed manufacturer at AN.EquineHelp@adm.com the statement said.
And in October, 2014, Masterpiece Equestrian in Davie, Florida, 22 horses were poisoned by tainted feed manufactured by Lakeland Animal Nutrition. They received confirmation on Nov 22 from the Florida Department of Agriculture that monensin and lasalocid, anti-bacterial additives safe for livestock such as cattle and some poultry but toxic to horses' muscles, was present in its horse feed.
Lakeland Animal Nutrition has said the contamination was limited to the feed at Masterpiece, and no other horses elsewhere were reported sickened because of it. The Lakeland-based company recalled the product, stopped producing equine feeds and acknowledged that feed delivered to Masterpiece contained monensin. More information can be found at www.lanfeeds.com.