The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services announced Jan. 11 that it had received multiple reports related to acute deaths in cattle, which are being investigated by its Division of Agricultural Environmental Services and Division of Animal Industry.
Local law enforcement agencies and veterinarians have also been involved in the ongoing investigation, the agency said, but did not provide specifics on the number of cattle affected.
While the specific cause has not yet been determined, these deaths may be related to feed, the agency said. The product in question is the Producer's Pride 20% All Natural Cattle Cube, lot number 8DEC22MUL2, manufactured by Purina Animal Nutrition and distributed to 39 Tractor Supply Co. stores in Florida and one in Georgia.
Purina Animal Nutrition said it manufactured approximately 1,500 bags of the product on Dec. 22, 2018. Purina Animal Nutrition confirmed with Feedstuffs that the product is a non-medicated feed.
Tractor Supply has voluntarily removed the product in question from shelves in all 40 stores. In addition, Purina Animal Nutrition has initiated a voluntary market withdrawal of the affected product. Consumers may discard the product or return it to their retail purchase location for exchange or refund.
The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services said it has collected product and cattle samples from across the state and is in the process of conducting laboratory tests.
In a statement to Feedstuffs, Purina Animal Nutrition noted that animal wellbeing is a top priority, and it will continue to work closely with Tractor Supply and the state of Florida during the course of this investigation.
When situations like this arise, the ability to quickly remove violative products from the market is vital for every feed manufacturer and distributor, according to the "Preparing for a Feed Recall" chapter in the Feed Additive Compendium, written by Jan Campbell, regulatory affairs manager for Purina Animal Nutrition.
In the chapter, Campbell said a well-developed and tested recall plan will minimize product liability exposure and monetary losses and avoid potential regulatory enforcement action.
The chapter lays out detailed procedures for developing and implementing a recall plan, including gathering facts, notifying regulatory agencies and customers and validating the effectiveness and disposing of recalled product.
Besides the chapter in the Feed Additive Compendium, the Food & Drug Administration has a guidance for industry document on product recalls available at www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/industryguidance/default.htm.