Grass linked to Texas cattle deaths
2012 06 25
A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.
Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.
The cows dropped dead several weeks ago on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel in Elgin, just east of Austin.
Abel says he’s been using the fields for cattle grazing and hay for 15 years. "A lot of leaf, it’s good grass, tested high for protein - it should have been perfect," he told KEYE correspondent Lisa Leigh Kelly.
The grass is a hybrid form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel’s 18 head of Corriente cattle. Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.
"When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that," said Abel.
Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.
"When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something," said Abel. "But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions."
Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.
"That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying," said Abel.
Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.
"Coming off the drought that we had the last two years ... we’re concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this," Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian and cattle specialist who conducted the 15 necropsies, told Kelly.
What is more worrisome: Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation.
Until it can be determined why this grass suddenly began producing cyanide, Abel is keep his livestock far away.
"The grasshoppers are enjoying it now," he said.
CORRECTION: As originally published, this story referred to Tifton 85 grass as a genetically-modified product, which is incorrect; it is actually a hybrid of Bermuda grass.
Grass tied to Texas cattle deaths hybrid, not GM
Article from: cbsnews.com
A Grass-Fed Evolution? Altered Environment Fueled Human Change
Rare Pink Grasshopper Found in Devon, UK
Genetically modified cows produce ’human’ breast milk
Insects better meat than cows: researchers
100 clone cows on UK farms: Shocking evidence of ’super calves’
Cattle Mutilations and the Government
Officials blame ’mystery virus’ for widespread deaths of thousands of cattle
10,000 cattle in Vietnam mysteriously die from cold weather
Latest News from our Front Page
Tiny Micro Robots Build Things in ‘Microfactory’
2014 04 17
The teenie-weeniest robot uprising ever might be sooner rather than later due to the work of research institute SRI.
Don’t let these microbots’ size fool you, there is power in numbers and thousands of the robots can work together to perform tasks at dizzying speed.
SRI International has developed a new generation of ant-like robots that can work as ...
’We are not dead yet’: Heartbreaking text messages sent from schoolchildren trapped aboard South Korean ferry
2014 04 17
Passengers on board the South Korean ferry sent heartbreaking messages to their family members just moments before it sank.
Children waiting to be rescued frantically reached for their phones as the boat began to list in a bid to communicate with their loved ones a final time.
Twenty-four people, including five students and two teachers, have been found dead, but 272 are ...
"A world of pure imagination": How Occupy turned to "anarchy"
2014 04 17
In the closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, comedian Russell Brand, perched atop the Beatles’ "Magical Mystery Tour" bus, opened his performance by singing the first lines of "Pure Imagination" from the movie Willy Wonka:
Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of
Artists ’have structurally different brains’
2014 04 17
Artists have structurally different brains compared with non-artists, a study has found.
Participants’ brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery.
The research, published in NeuroImage, suggests that an artist’s talent could be innate.
But training and environmental upbringing also play crucial roles in their ability, the authors report.
As in many areas ...
NSA-proof email service goes online
2014 04 17
A new email service that protects its users from the prying eyes of the NSA and other spy agencies has gone online. The service’s creators say it will make encrypted messaging accessible to all and curtail internet snooping.
Germany-based Lavaboom was inspired by Lavabit, the encrypted email service that was believed to have been used by whistleblower Edward Snowden before it ...
|More News » |