Botulism-tainted feed killed 11,000 mink, lawsuit claims

Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press A mink is pictured in this Capital Press file photo. A new lawsuit claims that botulism-tainted feed killed 11,000 mink on an Oregon farm, causing $2.8 million in losses.

About 11,000 mink at an Oregon ranch died from feed contaminated with botulism, resulting in $2.8 million in losses to the grower, according to a lawsuit.

A complaint filed by the farm — AMC LCC of Mount Angel, Ore. — accuses the Northwest Farm Food Cooperative of gross negligence and breach of contract, among other charges, for supplying the tainted feed in 2016.

The National Food Corp., an egg producer, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit because the tainted feed was allegedly manufactured from the company’s “spent hens” that have stopped laying eggs.

The complaint alleges that the mink became ill and began dying within days after the cooperative’s feed was delivered to the ranch in July 2016. An investigation later determined the disease was caused by botulism in the chicken meat.

Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin produced by certain strains of Clostridium bacteria that grow in improperly processed food.

An attorney for AMC LLC said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit and Capital Press was unable to reach the farm’s owner. The Northwest Farm Food Cooperative and the National Food Corp. did not respond to requests for comment.

Recommended for you