FRESNO COUNTY (KFSN) --A Fresno County ranch, which lost more than a dozen horses, is now considering a lawsuit against a South Valley feed company which they said sold them tainted feed.
Black Fence Farm would normally see a bump in business with this warm weather, but that hasn't been the case. The ranch brings back too many bad memories to many families. Katie Flanigan hasn't been teaching many kids how to ride horses lately at Black Fence Farm. Not since 13 horses died there in September. "I'm down about 80-percent. I would go from 10-15 lessons on an average day, down to some days none."
Flanigan still has bags of horse pellets, she said, were contaminated with an antibiotic called Monensin. "It's supposed to be used for hogs, poultry, and cattle but even a trace amount can be lethal for a horse," said Sean Simpson, attorney.
Flanigan said she bought tainted feed from Western Milling in Goshen. Simpson said the company took some feed product off the market last year but has never claimed any responsibility for the horse deaths. "Basically, burying their head in the sand at this point, and, so, they're going to leave us no choice but to file a legal action in courts," said Simpson.
Flanigan believes feed manufacturing processes need to change. "I'm hoping that the FDA is working to find out how this happens."
Other horses at the ranch also showed signs of sickness after eating the feed but survived.
For safety reasons, none of those horses are used for training.
We contacted Western Milling for a comment but the company has not replied to any of our requests.