State champion goat fails drug test

4:36 PM, Oct 15, 2011   |    comments
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PUEBLO, Colo. - The grand champion goat from this year's Colorado State Fair and another goat raised by the same family were disqualified after testing positive for an unapproved feed additive, state officials said Friday.

The family says their goat feed may have been tampered with and they plan to appeal.

Disqualification means the college student who raised the champion won't get the $5,500 her goat netted at the State Fair auction, and her younger brother won't get $1,300 sale price of his goat. It also means both are barred from future livestock events at the fair.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported the disqualifications on Friday.

Susan Weinroth of Sedalia, mother of the pair, told the newspaper their animals have always tested clean and that the family was shocked and reeling from the tests.

She said the family's goat feed had been "moved and dumped and tampered with" during the fair and that the goats got sick after eating the feed.

"I can't say if it was sabotage. All I can say is what happened," she said. She didn't immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

Weinroth said the family had reported the feed incident to state officials.

Chris Wiseman, general manager of the State Fair, told the AP that Weinroth had told him about the feed incident and promised to give him more information.

Wisemen said he wants to make sure the family is treated fairly and that the integrity of the fair is protected.

He said the ban on participating in future events could be lifted if officials determine someone else was responsible for the food additive, although the teen is now past the age limit for competing. Wiseman said the disqualification would still stand and the sale proceeds would still be forfeited.

A food additive called ractopamine was found in tests of the goats' urine, the Agriculture Department said. The federal government has approved ractopamine for swine but not for goats, said Jack Whittier, a Colorado State University associate professor and a specialist with the Colorado Extension Service.

The state Agriculture Department identified the college student as Margaret Weinroth. The Chieftain said she is 19 and is an animal science major at Colorado State. She also raised a goat that took top honors at the National Western Stock show last year.

No phone listing could be found for her.

State officials said her brother was a minor and didn't identify him by name.

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