The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has fined Lakeland Animal Nutrition for its manufacture and sale of horse feed contaminated with monensin.
In October 2014 three horses residing at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Florida, died after ingesting horse feed manufactured by Lakeland. Further investigation revealed that the feed was contained monensin, an ionophore antibiotic used in ruminants, swine, and poultry that is toxic to horses.
Lakeland voluntarily recalled the products connected to the deaths in late October and later ceased manufacturing horse feed altogether.
Since the recall, 11 of the 22 horses at Masterpiece have died in connection with the incident, said Attorney Andrew Yaffa, who represented horse owners in talks with Lakeland. Lakeland and those horse owners later reached a settlement.
On Jan. 6, the FDACS fined Lakeland $4,000 for the contaminated feed. Department press secretary Erin Gillespie said the fines follow an FDACS investigation into the horses’ deaths.
Gillespie said that during its investigation, the FDACS collected feed sample from Masterpiece Equestrian Center for testing at the New York Department of Agriculture and Market Foods Laboratory. In a written statement the FDACS said several samples tested positive for monensin and another tested positive for monensin and lascolocid, another antibiotic sometimes added to cattle feed which can also be toxic to horses.
“Following the guidelines set up in Florida Statutes Chapter 580, two violations for adulterating and misbranding commercial equine feed and two violations of distributing adulterate