Monday, March 20, 2006

Weeding the Feed

More than twenty companies that sell animal feed in the state of Idaho have been ordered by the Idaho Department of Agriculture to stop, according to this press release (.pdf). It seems that the seed, packaged for wild and pet birds, as well as small animals like hamsters, gerbils and squirrels, was contaminated with species that are on Idaho's noxious weed list. Among the banned weeds discovered were invasive plants like Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica). The ISDA will review each company's case over the next several months and decide whether the companies that clean up their act will be able to sell their feed products in Idaho again. While it sounds like all they did was issued a stop-sale order to each company, and did not charge them with misdemeanor violations that would have included a fine of up to $3000 each, the ISDA may still decide to assess a civil penalty of up to $2000 per company.

Thanks to Sandy L. for posting about this story to the ALIENS-L listserver.

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