Five cattle die after freak poisoning

Five cattle have died after a freak poisoning in the Claremorris area of Co. Mayo, sources within the county branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) have confirmed.

It is understood that the cattle were poisoned after they consumed either the seeds or the leaves of a yew tree which had been knocked by strong winds last week, the IFA representatives explained.

Farmers in the area are being warned to be vigilant in case a similar incident occurs on their land.

Both the seeds and the leaves of a yew tree are poisonous and farm animals have been known to die after consuming just small amounts.

AgriLand is waiting on a statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding the matter.

Meanwhile, a farmer in the Ballintubber area of Co. Mayo lost five Friesian heifers earlier this year due to lead poisoning.

The five animals – which were approximately two years old – were being kept on a commonage along with another older cow. It is understood that the five heifers consumed something that contained high traces of lead.

The farmer confirmed to AgriLand that three heifers died as a result of the poisoning and that two others had to be put down – all in the space of a week.

He encouraged farmers to dispose of items that may contain high levels of lead – especially car and tractor batteries – in a responsible manner.