CHRB Issues Directive on Feed Products

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Mar. 26, 2013) -- All CHRB licensed feed vendors are instructed to remove all Purina sweet feed products produced at Purina’s Turlock plant from CHRB facilities until such a time as Purina can assure the CHRB those products do not contain the prohibited drug zilpaterol. This action is taken under CHRB rule 1861- Vendors.

“No vendor permitted on the grounds of an association shall sell or deliver any horse feed, feed supplement, tonic, veterinary preparation, medication, veterinary equipment or supplies, or any substance containing any prohibited drug, unless he shall have filed with the official veterinarian list of such items he intends to sell or deliver and has received the approval of the official veterinarian. Any vendor permitted regular access to the stable area shall obtain a license from the Board. The official veterinarian may restrict the sale of, prohibit the sale or delivery of, or place conditions on the sale or delivery of any item subject to approval.”

Purina has notified horsemen anyone not comfortable with their products may return it to their distributor. Horsemen who have not already done so are advised to return any Purina or Country Acres sweet feed they have from Purina’s Turlock plant to their feed vendor. The Turlock plant is designated TRL on the lot number on each bag of feed.

The CHRB also has determined that 48 positive tests for zilpaterol have resulted from feed contamination, as described in a CHRB advisory dated March 22. The positives involve horses at all California racetracks. The contamination of the feed appears to have occurred in mid-February and the first positive was detected from a race run March 1.

After reviewing the situation, the executive director with the concurrence of the equine medical director, as required by law, has recommended to the Board that the current cases related to the contaminated feed be dismissed. The Board has agreed and the cases from March 1 to this date have or will be dismissed.

The contaminated feed has been identified, as described in the March 22 advisory, and horsemen are or should be aware of the contaminated feed, so the problem should pass quickly. If trainers have removed the feed, residues of zilpaterol in horses should be eliminated by week’s end.