A jury has returned a verdict of $1,007,500 to plaintiffs alleging in a lawsuit that Farnam's product Equitrol, a feed-through fly control product, was defectively designed and caused harm to their horses; Farnam has countered with a press release stating that it is appealing the decision and believes that the court decision is incorrect on legal and factual grounds.

Equitrol's active ingredient tetrachlorvinphos (a cholinesterase inhibitor) is widely used for feed-through larvacides (manufactured by other companies) for cattle and in fly control products for several other species. Other companies manufacture and sell tetrachlorvinphos as a feed-through larvacide for horses.

Charlotte and Christopher Wrather, owners of Cottonwood Ranch in Los Alamos, Calif., and the ranch's manager/trainer Lori Akari claimed that they fed Equitrol as directed, and that it caused or exacerbated a variety of health problems in their horses, including reproductive problems and birth defects, stunted and retarded growth, hyperexcitability and other neurologic dysfunctions, laminitis, immunosuppression evidenced by unusual or unusually severe infections, diarrhea, and colic.

In its press release, Farnam stated that it stands by the product’s safety and effectiveness and cited the extensive testing a product must undergo before it is available to consumers.

Check TheHorse.com for updates, information on what cholinesterase inhibitors do, what organophosphate poisoning is, past study results on Equitrol, and interviews with a toxicologist and involved parties.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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