The Agriculture Ministry's veterinary services believe that 30 horses in Ra'anana have been poisoned, the ministry announced on Wednesday.
The veterinary services carried out an immediate investigation following symptoms of severe pain, diarrhea and vomiting among 30 sport horses at a horse farm in Ra'anana on Wednesday after the symptoms appeared suddenly.
An initial investigation concluded that the horses may have been poisoned. There are an overall 50 horses at the horse farm.
The owners of the farm called doctors and veterinarians to the scene. Some of the horses had to be evacuated to a nearby veterinary hospital. Initial diagnosis of the clinical signs reveal that it was an obstruction of the intestines, medical professionals stated.
The good news is that all the horses survived the poisoning and are currently being treated.
Conducting an epidemiological investigation
The Agricultural Ministry is conducting an epidemiological investigation as a result of the incident. The investigation included laboratory samples from the food found in the tank and the cart, samples from feces, gastric fluid, sawdust and water. Alongside the tests, the animal feed control department verified that the horses in the other farms that received food from the same batch were healthy.
Dr. Tzvia Mildenberg, the equine veterinarian at the Agricultural Ministry, has been actively involved in the investigation.
She emphasized the exceptional nature and gravity of the case, prompting swift action from the veterinary services within the ministry. With a rapid investigation and prompt laboratory analysis, a diagnosis regarding the cause of the horses' illness was achieved in a matter of hours.
As the investigation continues, the veterinary services within the ministry are providing ongoing support to the farm owners. They are guiding them on the appropriate medical treatment and care for the horses during this challenging time.
The Ra'anana horse farm, consisting of 49 horses, not only serves as a pension for sports horses but also offers therapeutic riding programs for children.
Dr. Mildenberg expressed her commitment to the investigation, stating, "This is an extremely rare and severe case, so the veterinary services at the Agriculture Ministry mobilized quickly.
"Together, we conducted a rapid investigation that included timely laboratory analysis. Within a few hours, we were able to make a diagnosis regarding the cause of the horses' illness and gain initial insights into the events leading up to it.
"Considering the substance has been banned in Israel for over a decade and the lack of any reason for its presence on the farm, there is a suspicion of deliberate poisoning. The case will be further investigated by the Israeli police, in parallel with the ministry's investigation."