The product in question is its Ultralyx 24% + 3% Mag Composite Block; that batch is said to contain elevated levels of non-protein nitrogen (NPN) that may be harmful to beef cattle.
Beef cattle exposed to this batch may exhibit rapid breathing, tremors and slight followed then by severe incoordination, excessive salivation and labored breathing, said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
NPN compounds like urea and anhydrous ammonia are used in ruminant rations as less expensive alternatives to purchased, preformed proteins of plant origin such as soybean meal or cottonseed meal or to proteins of animal origin including fishmeal or bloodmeal, according to the South Dakota State University (SDSU) extension service.
Ruminants are said to have a unique ability to metabolize dietary nitrogen for synthesis of protein within the rumen, with the central component for protein synthesis in the rumen being ammonia.
Eventually, afflicted animals lose the ability to stand. Generally, if not treated, animals may die within four hours.
The FDA said if beef producers observe animals that have consumed product from this single batch number have any of these symptoms, they should contact their local veterinarian for assistance.
The company said samples from the subject batch were assayed following a customer complaint and found to contain too high levels of NPN, according to the FDA.
A farm located in Virginia reported that nine of its beef cows died after having access to this particular batch of cattle feed, said the regulator.
The entire batch of feed subject to this recall was purchased by a single distributor in Tennessee who resold the product to farm supply dealers located in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina, continued the FDA.
The FDA said that batch can be identified by its label: ‘Ultralyx Nutritional Supplements 24% + 3% Mag Composite Block for Beef Cattle on Pasture’ and includes, in the lower right corner, the batch number, HB01088454, and item number, 10636.
The subject batch was manufactured on August 26, 2016, and packaged in 200-pound plastic tubs, added the US agency.