Western Milling, a Tulare County feed company, must pay $526,500 as part of a settlement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture over selling horse feed contaminated with a fatal drug.
The drug, Monensin, is a growth-enhancing feed additive that is given to beef and dairy cattle, but when fed to horses it can be fatal.
In 2015, state officials said Western Milling’s Goshen plant made horse feed that was contaminated with the drug. In one case, the feed killed 13 horses at a Clovis barn.
As part of the settlement, the feed company has stopped making horse feed and specialty feeds for other animals. The company is also implementing several improvements to the facility, including the installation of $200,000 in new equipment to make sure feed safety measures and industry standards are met. Western Milling will also improve is process for mixing, record keeping, product identification and traceability in the handling of medicated feeds.