Consumers Warned About Possible Saddle Pad Anthrax Contamination

Consumers who own one of these saddle pads should place the product in a sealed double plastic bag and call a local or state health department for disposal instructions.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 1974
Release #74-073

Consumers Warned About Possible Saddle Pad Anthrax Contamination

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 1) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in cooperation with the Perforated Pad Company today warned consumers, particularly horse owners, that 5,000 to 10,000 "Alaskan Hair Saddle Pads" sold nationwide since January could be contaminated with anthrax spores.

The saddle pads, which utilized imported animal hair, retailed for between $7 and $9. The pads were manufactured by the Perforated Pad Company, Woonsocket, Rhode Island. 

The saddle pads are about three-quarters to one-inch thick with cotton duck quilt on one side and exposed short coarse greyish-black colored animal hair on the other side. They range in sizes from about 26 by 28 inches to 30 by 30 inches. 

The pads may bear a three-by-five inch blue label on the quilted side that includes the name of the manufacturer and one of six style numbers: 238, 238R, 500, 500R, 832 and 832R. 

Consumers who own one of these saddle pads should place the product in a sealed double plastic bag and call a local or state health department for disposal instructions. 

Consumers should not attempt to sterilize the pad, incinerate it, or throw it away because of the risk of further contamination. 

Perforated Pad Co. has voluntarily agreed to refund the price of the pads to all purchasers. Consumers who bought one of these pads should contact the retailer from whom it was purchased to arrange for a refund. 

The Commission was alerted to the possibility of anthrax contamination by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services following the death of a horse in the state and the subsequent deaths of numerous animals on a private game ranch who were fed the infected horse meat. 

Anthrax is an acute bacterial disease which can be fatal for humans if untreated. It can be transmitted from a product bearing the anthrax spores through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion of contaminated foods. 

Anthrax infection is not contagious from one person to another. The disease, for humans and animals, may start with a blister or pustule and can develop into a depressed area of dead tissue with a dark crust. Fever and other symptoms may not appear until the disease is severe. 

This warning is being issued in the interest of the public health and safety and in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control which is under the Public Health Service in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 

The Commission is continuing its investigations to determine whether the contaminated animal hair has been sold to other manufacturers by the importer and used in the production of other products.