50 Horses Poisoned at CA Stable

Source: Inside Edition

“13 horses have died so far, caused by feed contaminated with monensin, an additive used in cattle feed, but is deadly to horses…”

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Fifty horses have been poisoned by contaminated feed at a California stable. Many of them are dying in agonizing seizures that have left their owners bereft, according to a lawsuit.

A horse named Susie was the first to go, crashing through a fence, said Katie Flanigan, owner of Black Fence Farm in Clovis.  Turtle, who once gave rides to wounded warriors and competed in jumping contests, stumbled, then collapsed.

Sydney Loucks, 11, told INSIDE EDITION she was getting out of the family car to go to school “and my dad told me that Olaf passed away.” The loss, she said, is heartbreaking. The horse was her best friend.

Flanigan says 13 horses have died so far, caused by feed contaminated with monensin, an additive used in cattle feed, but is deadly to horses. She sued manufacturer Western Milling, alleging negligence.

The company voluntarily recalled 1,100 bags of the feed, for “potential contamination.”

In a statement to IE, the firm said, “While we do not comment on pending litigation, we are always saddened at the loss of a companion animal. The potentially contaminated feed was recalled.”

Flanigan says there is no hope for the other ill horses and that they, too, will eventually die.

Her stable specializes in teaching children to ride and compete in horse shows. Her business has suffered a devastating loss because of  contaminated food, she said.



  1. How many times is this going to happen before the feed companies shape up? There needs to be stiffer penalties – sounds like carelessness.


  2. I hope they get taken for MILLIONS over this. These companies should not get away with carelessness that breaks people’s hearts and cost animals there lives. It’s happening too often to be ‘just a mistake’.


  3. Since this keeps happening, why not make these controlled substances (not allowed to be added in commercial feed) so people who want to feed them to cows buy them separately, and add into feed on their own places. It can’t be that hard to do this and would take away a lot of pointless suffering of innocent animals and their people.


  4. This is the third incident of horse poisoning by processed feed. The previous ones were linked to ADM. IS THIS ALSO TGE CASE HERE??? So far they have paid the people off and continued on..business as usual. My thoughts are if you value your horses do not feed processed feed… Stick with natural grains that are grown and that you can see what they are and what is in them.


    • Terri, this has been a problem for years, so I’m sure there are more than three incidents. It’s time to insist on keeping these additives out of the mills altogether, where they accidentally end up in horse feeds. Let ranchers buy the stuff separately and feed it out on their own, taking risks with their own animals, not barns full of beloved horses owned by others.


      • I would say ban it altogether. There is no need to add that cr*p to the food chain. If it is toxic to horses it can’t be very good to people either. So far no cases like this have been reported in Europe since it BANS the use of antibiotics like monensin as growth promoters.

        Again, it seems that horses have to suffer so ranchers can pad their pockets feeding garbage to people.


  5. that is why I love where I get my feed, from the mill itself. I know what goes in it and what % of the ingedients. and yes it is better for most horses to eat whole oats. packing in the mountains it is nice to take some oats along plus the packer pellets.


    • Daniel, quit putting the blame on ranchers, we work damn hard to feed you!! better be looking at the feed lots before you look at the rancher. I do not feed it and I do not know that many that do!! look to the feed lots! I raise natural beef, mom, grass and hay! that is all they get.


      • Sorry if I hurt any feelings. I’m aware there are organic producers that don’t use them but I just can’t help but think that these incidents would never happen if these growth promotants were banned like in EU. They can really be good for our health either and a ban will additionally result in a healthier and higher quality product.


      • Please do not lump all ranchers in one, that is all I ask, I so agree with you on the growth harmone(sp) I have never use it and I never will. I like my meat as natural as I can get it. I feel that the animals are healthier, and better for it. that has been my feelings all along, why??? you also need to realize a lot of us ranchers are on the same page as you, we see the harm in using and do not use them. maybe if we all could be on the same page the fight could then be won, ever think of that


      • Julie – it sure would be great if we all were on the same page – ranchers, horse advocates etc. I’m positive that there are many ranchers out there who feel the same way you do. I agree that these “additives” which are poison for the horses should be removed from feed. This has happened & probably will again far too many times.


      • it would be great if you all would quit blaming all ranchers, that would be a huge step forward. us ranchers do not live off the gov’t, we work damn hard to do the best that we can. it is 24/7 365 days that we work all for the animals, goats, sheep, cattle, hogs, horses, mules, chickens, geese, turkeys! while the rest of you get vacations we do not. again all about the animals! it would be great if you all could see this!


  6. Monensin, Rumensin, you name it. This cattle finisher is also in our food! It can also be deadly to hogs and dogs. I never buy locally prepared feeds as the mill operators are so uninformed that they don’t realize that the tiny amount of these finisher products is so small, it cannot be seen, much less traced. And they continue mixing horse feeds in the same grinder tubs as they do cattle feeds.


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