This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If you bought the "Commercial Rabbit" brand of feed, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food says immediately stop giving it to your bunnies.
And if your care for hares is less as a pet and more as a supplementary food source, it is best not to eat them, if they have recently consumed the feed produced by Cache Commodities of Ogden.
UDAF officials warned on Tuesday that more than 500 rabbits have reportedly died since May after eating a tainted batch of the feed. So, if you notice your rabbits showing any signs of illness, get them to the veterinarian.
"Cache Commodities has contacted us and reported that they are in the process of recalling and replacing all Commercial Rabbit feed that has been distributed since May," said Bracken David, deputy director for UDAF's Plant Industry and Conservation division.
The company expected to have all of its stocks of the feed replaced by Wednesday with fresh, untainted product.
The tainted feed may have been stocked by feed suppliers throughout the state.
UDAF said the tainted feed contained much higher levels of vitamin D than is safe for rabbits. High levels of vitamin D can cause organ failure and tissue calcification and that is what has turned up in tests conducted on the dead rabbits, said State Veterinarian Barry Pittman.
"We advise anyone who raises rabbits as a hobby or for meat to double check the source of [their] feed," Pittman said.
If you have purchased Commercial Rabbit brand feed recently, UDAF urges you to contact your local feed distributor for replacement.