Poisonous beetles kill 13 horses in Wisconsin

red ridge ranchMAUSTON, Wis. (WKBT) A shortage of hay in Wisconsin is having a devastating impact on horse stables.

In recent years, Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable in Mauston has been struggling to produce enough hay to feed their horses. Last autumn the owners used their savings to buy a large amount of hay from out west, but they didn’t know it was contaminated with Blister Beetles.

Blister Beetles live in alfalfa hay and secrete a toxin that will kill horses if ingested. Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable lost 13 horses because of these beetles.

The hay they bought to feed the horses through the winter is a total loss, and the family is emotionally and financially devasted.

In a statement, the owners said, “As many of you know our riding stable has always prided itself on the fact that our horses have forever homes. They are not for sale or trade. Most of our horses have a story of how they came to love with us and become part of our family. We do the best we can for each and every one of them for the remainder of their lives while sharing them with the public as an operating filing stable and a place for kids and adults to learn how to care for and ride horses. Our family of horses is also special to may other people because they have touched their lives and hearts as well as our own.”

They are looking for help to recover from their loss and assist with their veterinary bills.

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