The California Horse Racing Board has partially lifted its ban on Purina sweet feed products manufactured at a Turlock, Calif., plant after zilpaterol, a banned substance in horse racing, was found in a number of Purina Animal Nutrition sweet feed products. It is now allowing feed produced on or after March 27 at the Turlock plant on California racetracks. However, Purina or Country Acres feed produced between Feb. 14 and March 26 at the Turlock plant should not be fed to horses competing at events where drug testing occurs.
Independent testing and Purina testing led the board to zero-in on the source of contamination. “Our investigation has revealed that small amounts of zilpaterol were included in a single ingredient supplied by a vendor to the Turlock plant in February. Purina and Country Acres products produced at any other Purina plant were not impacted and can be used without restriction,” a statement from Purina reads.
Purina recommends horse owners feeding Purina or Country Acres product made at the Turlock plant to refer to the lot number located on the bottom seam tape of the feed bag to determine if it was produced between Feb. 14 and March 26. Products manufactured at Turlock with have the letters “TRL” in the date code. Date codes are formatted by year (“3” for 2013), month, day, plant code and shift code. For example: “3MAR15TRL1.”
Tests performed by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory first confirmed the board’s suspicions on contamination. Zilpaterol is typically used as a feed supplement to increase muscle gain in livestock. Feed varieties of Purina Race Ready, Purina Strategy, Purina Omoline-200, Country Acres Horse Feed and Country Acres Sweet-12 produced at the Turlock plant were affected.
Feed dealers can provide competitive horse owners a replacement feed product if needed. Questions can be directed to the Purina Customer Service Department at 800-227-8941.