Covered by WISC Channel3000.com
Friday September 5th 2003, 8:53 AM ET
MADISON, Wisconsin – A state agriculture investigator says “an unfortunate, preventable accident” killed a dozen horses in Dane county.
David Fredrickson told News 3 tests show a cattle drug, toxic to horses, got into the feed for 12 Belgium draft and killed them.
State investigators say, indications are, that the drug was accidentally mixed into the horse feed at a locally owned and operated feed mill.
“Right now, I’d say we are 95 percent sure that this was cross contamination in manufacturing,” Fredrickson said.
Horse owners and breeders say they’re concerned about the safety of the feed at the mill.
“We’re talking about hundreds and thousands of dollars,” said Teri Bedner, of Four B Farm in Sun Prairie. “We’ve invested in these horses, and I don’t want to lose them. They’re my babies. They’re our family.”
Ag officials say they don’t believe any other horses are in danger. He said the feed had been custom-made, so it was unlikely other batches contained the drug, monensin.
Fredrickson would not identify the company that made the feed but said it was cooperating with the investigation.
Three other horses were still alive and being treated.