FDA: Colorado-based alfalfa cubes killed horses; recall announced

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Manzanola, Colo. – Federal officers are warning horse owners not to feed their animals Top of the Rockies brand alfalfa cubes after nearly 100 horses developed neurologic illnesses– 45 of which have now died or been euthanized.

On Saturday the US Food & Drug Administration issued a warning. Manzanola Feeds, located in southeastern Colorado, recalled the cubes on Friday. The company warns that certain batches may contain bacteria that cause botulism, a fatal paralytic disease. The FDA said more testing is ongoing to confirm the causes of reported illnesses.

The company directly distributed products to stores in 10 states including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. However, the FDA warns the cubes may have been sold in other states as well.

Some cubes have been reported to contain what appears to be fur and animal tissues, which may have been ground up during alfalfa harvesting. Botulism-causing bacteria is found in decaying animal carcasses.

Top of the Rockies alfalfa cubes are sold in white and tan plastic 50-pound bags with green labeling. The date codes are on the front of the package. Potentially contaminated lots include those with the date codes 111222, 111322, 111422, 111522, and 111622.

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