Dispute over allegedly contaminated horse feed should go to arbitration, court hears

Glanbia Foods Ireland Limited claims it lost €9 million due to being supplied with a banned substance

The High Court is being asked to decide whether a dispute over the supply of an allegedly contaminated ingredient for the making of horse feed should go to arbitration.

Equine feed producer, Glanbia Foods Ireland Ltd, claims it has lost some €9 million as a result of having been supplied with molasses containing the banned substance which it used to make horse feed.

Kilkenny-based Glanbia, trading as Glanbia Agribusiness, is suing ED&F Man Liquid Products Ireland Ltd over supplying molasses products that it claims contained the banned performance-enhancing substance Zilpaterol.

The molasses were used in the Glanbia product “Gain Equine Feed”, which was sold to customers in the European Union and further afield.


In October 2020, the French horse racing authority, France Galop, announced five horses, and later another 13, had tested positive for Zipatreol. This led to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine taking steps to prevent the further supply of contaminated substances.

Glanbia says the source of the contamination was identified as molasses.

The company claims the defendant was in breach of contract and is guilty of misrepresentation and negligence, among other things, in supplying molasses products that were allegedly defective and contaminated with Zipaterol.

It also claims, among other things, it failed to carry out any or adequate testing or inspection of the molasses products it supplied.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Mark Sanfey began hearing submissions and evidence on a motion by the defendant over contractual interpretation.

Douglas Clarke SC, for the defendant, said his client is seeking an order declaring that the contract requires that any dispute should go to arbitration and that it should be governed by English jurisprudence.

Glanbia opposes the application. The hearing continues.