News last update:6 Aug 2012

Two men fined for death of 27 horses

US State agriculture officials have fined two men who violated state pesticide laws last summer at an equestrian facility where 27 horses died.

Necropsies suggested the horses ate toxic feed in July at Carousel Acres Equestrian Center and Stable in College Station. Brad Raphel, co-owner of the stable, was fined $4,000 related to five violations in applying a restricted-use pesticide in July, the Texas Department of Agriculture said. Each violation brings a $1,000 fine but the cap for a single incident is $4,000.

Walter Cronin, who said he was a friend of Raphel's, was fined $1,000 for failing to properly supervise the use of a restricted-use pesticide. He also received a warning for failing to maintain records for the first time the pesticide was applied.

Misuse of pesticide
According to the report, stable owner Brad Raphel did not have a state-required license to purchase or use the pesticide but applied PhosFume tablets to a silo of horse feed in July. Within hours of the application, horses began dying. Tests performed on the horses found that they had died from ingesting  phosphine gas, a product of a fumigant that is released from the pesticide tablets, which are designed to kill weevils in horse feed.

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