Preble Co. Fair steer tests positive for illegal drug

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Ohio Agriculture Director Fred Dailey plans to disqualify the 2003 Preble County Fair reserve grand champion steer and its exhibitor, 17-year-old Travis Sorrell.

Department of agriculture officials confirmed the animal tested positive for 7-hydroxychlorpromazine, commonly known as promazine.

Promazine is a prescription anti-anxiety drug used for humans. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the drug is also approved for use in horses, cats and dogs as a tranquilizer.

Prohibited. According to Ohio Administrative Code, which outlines the state’s livestock tampering rules, “no person shall … exhibit an animal which has been tranquilized.”

In addition, the prescription drug was not listed on the exhibitor’s drug use notification form.

“Prescription drugs shouldn’t be administered by anyone but a veterinarian,” said Melanie Wilt, department of agriculture spokesperson.

“Exhibitors need to be aware of what is administered to their animals and review the rules.”

Stripped. Sorrell and his mother, Trudy Sorrell-Dungen, both of Eaton, were ordered to return all awards, prizes, premiums, and proceeds earned at the fair.

Sorrell’s mother is involved in the case because she signed the Drug Use Notification Form for her son, a minor.

He will also be ineligible to show at livestock exhibitions in Ohio through 2004.

Hearing. The Sorrells have 30 days from the date of the director’s notice to request a hearing.

If a hearing date is requested, the parties would present their case to an independent hearing officer, who makes a final recommendation to Dailey for administrative action.

(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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