The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 17, 2013

Ashtabula County Fair steer disqualified after tranquilizer found in urine

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — No further penalties are planned in the case of the prize-winning steer at the 2012 Ashtabula County Fair that tested positive for a banned tranquilizer, Ohio Department of Agriculture officials said.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture ordered the 1,225-pound black angus steer, which won best of show, be disqualified and stripped of all earnings, according to fair records and the Farm and Dairy newspaper.

The department’s investigation doesn’t indicate who was responsible for giving the drug to the animal, and family members have denied involvement, according to the newspaper.

The steer sold at the Market Livestock Sale to Lisko Amusements of Lowellville, Ohio, for $2.40 a pound or about $3,000, according to the sale records.

After receiving their money back, Lisko asked that the money be placed into a fund for educational programs for the market animal exhibitors, the Farm and Dairy reports.

The investigation began after a urine sample was taken from the steer directly after it was named champion, and sent to the ODA. It’s standard procedure to take urine samples from champion animals.

The Department of Agriculture said the meat was safe for human consumption.

The county fair board said they do not plan to induce further sanctions.