Horses dead, dozens ill at Fresno County farm after possible feed mixup

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Those in local horse community say outbreak happened over weekend at Black Fence Farm (KFSN)

Those in the local horse community say at least three horses have died and dozens more are now ill from possibly tainted feed at a Fresno County farm.

Neighbors say the Black Fence Farm offers riding lessons and boards horses belonging to local teenage girls.

Clovis Veterinarian Dr. Troy Ford says he was the first on the scene of a recent incident involving a number of stabled horses at a Fresno County farm.

"Possibly a toxic ingestion at this time, but tests are still pending to confirm whether or not this is indeed true, but it does not appear to be contagious or infectious at this time," Ford said.

He says the toxic substance can sometimes be deadly to horses, or cause long-term disabilities to them, and there is no known antidote.

"It may be associated with the feed that these horses are ingesting, but we will know more in the next few days," Ford said.

Ford says he called on state officials to investigate the cause of the outbreak, which he says is isolated to the farm where it happened.

He says there's no reason for other horse owners to be concerned, and there was likely no malice involved.

"If it is going to be associated with the feed, it is going to be a mistake, there's no doubt about that," Ford said.

The feed company in question has not returned our calls, and one person present at Black Fence Farm on Thursday told us she had no comment. The California Department of Food and Agriculture confirms its feed and fertilizer branch is investigating to see whether or not the feed was the cause of the outbreak. Lab results are pending.

But whatever the outcome, local horse owners say this is a sad blow to their very close and caring community.

The CDFA also says this case is not being investigated by veterinarians in their animal health branch because a disease is not suspected as the cause.
Related Topics:
horsesanimalillnessinvestigationcommunitynewsveterinariantestsanimal newsFresno County
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