According to a report in Buffalo Law Journal, in October 2016, Tonya Cooper, co-owner of TMC Performance Horses in Cuba, NY, with her husband, Michael, says feed tainted with an antibiotic meant for cows and pigs, but harmful for horses, was given to her horses. So far six horses died. Overall, 31 horses consumed the grain.
“I ordered my grain on Nov. 1 like I always do and 16 days later my life changed for the worse,” Cooper said.
The feed came from Reisdorf Brothers Inc., a feed mill in North Java, NY. She had been a customer for years.
“We actually had our own grain formulated from them and it was a really great grain,” she said. “We had horses that were thriving on it and doing well.”
But this batch of feed was found to be tainted with Monensin, an antibiotic meant for grazing animals to boost weight gain and milk production. Monensin is toxic to horses.
Andrew Yaffa, a partner at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen in Florida, is lead attorney on the lawsuit the Coopers brought against Residorf Brothers. He claims there was an issue in the manufacturing process.
“The feed that was contaminated with Monensin was delivered to TMC where the horses were being trained and cared for,” he said. “All of the horses ate the tainted feed. All of them have essentially been dealt a death sentence.”
The lawsuit was filed in February in Allegany County Supreme Court. The Coopers, as well as other plaintiffs in the lawsuit who owned horses that were boarded at TMC, seek unspecified damages. No criminal charges were filed in the case.
While Cooper and her attorneys discussed the lawsuit, Reisdorf Brothers declined comment, as did Goldberg Segalla, the law firm listed in court documents as representing Reisdorf Brothers.
Read the full report at the Buffalo Law Journal.