Poisonous grass due to drought, second case in Piedmont: six more cows died

Poisonous grass due to drought, second case in Piedmont: six more cows died
Poisonous grass due to drought, second case in Piedmont: six more cows died
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A second case in a few days, after that of Sommariva del Bosco. This afternoon the veterinarians of the Zooprophylactic Institute and of the ASL of Savigliano had to intervene in a stable in the Saluzzo area where the cows suddenly felt ill after eating fresh grass.

The suspicion is that the plants, freshly cut, are of the same family as the sorghum that last Saturday killed 50 cows on a farm in Sommariva del Bosco. The animals that suddenly fell to the ground this afternoon were about ten, six died but five were rescued by the veterinary team composed of Stefano Giantin of the zooprophylactic institute of Cuneo, Giovanni Topi and Francesco Barberis of the ASL of Savigliano who they used sodium nitrate to neutralize the effects of substances that most likely poisoned the cows.

The second case in a few days raises the doubt that the presence of sorghum with levels of toxins out of the ordinary is more widespread than what is thought in the area and could constitute a widespread danger for livestock. The zooprophylactic institute of Cuneo, and directed by Angelo Ferrari, will carry out analyzes on the grass taken from the stable where the second episode occurred in a few days. Those conducted on samples taken in Sommariva del bosco had shown levels of durrine ten times higher than the limits set for animal feed.

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Durrin is a toxic substance that transforms into hydrocyanic acid in the rumen of cows. But why does sorghum have such a high concentration of toxic substances? The fault – experts explain – could be the heat. These plants, widely used in tropical countries because they require few interventions and limited irrigation, develop a high concentration of toxins when the plant is still small and more fragile. The great heat of recent weeks may have limited the growth of the plants, making them remain smaller than normal and increasing, up to these levels, the concentration of toxins that have killed the cattle.

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