Rabbit feed recalled after death from vitamin D overdose

Intermountain Farmers Association is recalling its 50-pound bags of rabbit pellets manufactured between March 14 and September 15, 2016.

Photo by woogies, BigStock.com
Photo by woogies, BigStock.com

Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) of Draper, Utah, is recalling its 50-pound bags of rabbit pellets (item #1220) manufactured between March 14, 2016 and September 15, 2016, because the product may contain higher than acceptable levels of vitamin D, which may cause health problems to rabbits, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

The recalled rabbit pellets were distributed through IFA country stores and independent dealers in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico.

Recalled rabbit pellet details

The product comes in a 50-pound poly paper package marked with lot number containing #1220 and a date between 03/15/16 and 09/15/16 on the side of the blue label. The dates listed, in the previous sentence, represent the first use of the formula in question and the last date the formula in question was used.

Rabbits consuming this feed would be at risk for developing clinical hypercalcemia when fed diets containing very high levels of vitamin D, as a sole source of nutrition. Clinical signs of hypercalcemia include such things as increased thirst, increased urination, weakness, decreased appetite and possibly death. Intermountain Farmers Association has recently received two complaints that reported illness and deaths of some of the customer's rabbits. IFA is working with these customers to address these concerns.

Death caused by high vitamin D levels

The pet food recall was initiated immediately after IFA received a report of death of a customer's rabbits and the preliminary investigation indicated a formulation error. It was discovered that rabbit pellets manufactured during the above dates contained high levels of vitamin D.

IFA has quarantined any unsold product from the manufacturing period listed above. Any rabbit pellets manufactured by IFA after 09/15/2016 have been confirmed to contain the correct vitamin D level and is safe to feed to rabbits. The company will continue to work with the FDA to ensure that the problem has been corrected.

Consumers who have purchased 50 pound bags of #1220 rabbit pellets with the above manufacturing dates are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-801-619-1367 to talk to Jamie Allen, PhD, quality assurance/compliance manager, Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, except holidays.

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