A boarding barn in Cuba, New York is watching their 31 horses be slowly poisoned.
TMC Performance Horses has seen tragedy in the past couple weeks when three of their boarded horses passed away from poisonous feed. Another three were euthanized due to the illness. The horses died from being exposed to monensin, an ionophore antibiotic used in feed meant for pigs, chickens, and other ruminants.
Monensin is highly toxic to horses and symptoms of monensin poisoning, according to The Horse, include:
- poor appetite
- rapid heart rate
- labored breathing
- exercise intolerance
- wobbly gait
- long-term heart issues
- sudden death
"It only takes an 'M&M'-sized grain to potentially kill a horse," Tonya Cooper told The Daily News Online. "And every single horse ate the grain, so therefore they are affected."
The training and boarding facility says they're now running a horse hospice, just watching the horses die a slow, painful death due to the feed contamination.
The community has come together to help care for the sick horses and everyone is heartbroken, most having to say goodbye.
"That's hard," Cooper said. "Every day is a battle. You go to the barn and you don't know what horse you're going to find sick or needing to be put down. I can't even explain what that feels like."
The feed came from local feed manufacturer Reisdorf Brothers in North Java, New York, who has declined to respond to the allegations. But the feed was tested and trace amounts of monencin were found in the grain.
Meanwhile, TMC Performance Horses plans to fight back with attorney Andrew Yaffa on their side. Yaffa says that contaminated feed is becoming an awful trend that horse owners need to be aware of. He told WIVB:
"Horse owners need to be aware as to where their feed is coming from. If the feed is being manufactured at a multi-species plant, you need to be sure that the plant is medication free, and very few people appreciate from where the feed is coming from. I need to represent these people. They're suffering their farm and stable has turned into a hospice care facility. They're taking care of sick horses, and these children are devastated watching these horses die before their eyes."
Reisdorf Brothers and TMC Performance Horses will go to court once litigation commences.
Cooper wants to ensure this doesn't happen anywhere else, saying:
"Use Monensin-free facilities only. You can't take the chance of ever getting feed from a facility that contains it -- on their property or anywhere."
What do you think of this awful story? Do you make sure you know where your horse feed comes from? Tell us in the comments below.
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