Banned beef enhancer contaminant found in equine feed

Gain Equine Nutrition has advised its customers to refrain from feeding its equine products to their animals at present following the discovery of a performance enhancer contaminant in some Gain equine feed in France.

In a statement today (Friday, October 2), the company said:

“Gain Equine Nutrition wishes to advise that it is investigating the potential presence of a contaminant in some batches of our equine feed range.

“Until further investigations are completed, Gain customers are advised to refrain from feeding our equine products to their animals.

The contaminant, Zilpaterol, is a synthetic beta-agonist approved for use as a performance-enhancer in some beef production systems outside of the EU.

“It is important to stress that this synthetic substance has never formed part of any formulation in any of our animal nutrition ranges,” the firm underlined.

“A potential issue was first alerted to us based on positive test results from France Galop from some horses fed on our products in France.

“Following receipt of this information, our quality and control team immediately commenced testing our feed products, both retained samples and also product in the market,” the Irish company said.

Immediately on receipt of a positive test result on some individual feed samples this morning, Friday, October 2, we commenced the process of notifying all the relevant authorities and customers.

“We are working closely with all appropriate agencies, including the Irish Department of Agriculture, to fully investigate the source of this contamination.”

Gain Equine Nutrition said it will provide a “more detailed update once more information is available”.

Martin Ryan, head of Gain Equine, said:

“We apologise sincerely to our valued customers for the inconvenience caused by this incident and we are committed to promptly keeping you fully informed.

A thorough investigation and trace back of all feed ingredient sources is underway as a matter of urgency to determine how this external contaminant could have found its way into some batches of our equine product.

France Galop – the French National Horseracing Federation – announced today that five horses tested positive to Zilpaterol, with the most recent tested positive released yesterday.

The positives “appear to be associated” with Gain Racehorse Cubes, Racehorse Mix and Opti-Care Balancer, the French authority added.

Zilpaterol is banned in the EU but is legal in countries such as the US.