This past week and a half has been a rough one on our farm. My kids lost 7 of their 4-H lambs to copper toxicity. For those of you who do not know - copper is very toxic to sheep and has to be carefully monitored and managed by feed manufacturers. We immediately sent away some of our feed and found that it had more than 4 times the allowed limit of copper in it - somewhere along the line, a mistake was made, and the result is the loss of my children's project lambs.
I had a mother of one of our club members approach me about our situation - as she was feeding the same feed - and she could not understand how this could happen. The feed label clearly states "No Added Copper." I explained to her that my feed labels said the same thing. It was apparent though that somewhere due diligence was not practiced, and excessive copper ended up in that lot of feed.
I have fed this same feed for years without any issue, never once questioning the safety of the feed I was providing to my animals, because I took the company at their word when it came to what they were providing.
This is the same kind of trust that people every day put into those who transport their animals. This is why all involved in the transport of animals must do their due diligence by crossing every "T" and dotting every "I" to make sure the animals are delivered safe and healthy at their final destination. When we begin to take shortcuts or get complacent in our diligence on animal safety and welfare, the loss can be monumental - not just to the owners of the animals, but also the trust of all the consumers.
This situation has made me think of all the areas in our life that we put blind trust in that the product or service we are seeking or purchasing is exactly as promised and safe. I do not believe at all this error was intentional, but it most likely began when a shortcut was taken or someone got complacent. My trust has been greatly violated, not just with this company, but also has caused suspicion on all feed manufacturers. We must make sure at all times that what we promise on the "label" is exactly what we deliver, so that our customers will continue to trust that their animals will be transported under the greatest care, which in the end protects our industry.