In 1980, 16 abortions or stillbirths occurred and 26 deformed calves were born in a beef herd of 115 Friesian cross Hereford cows mated to Charolais bulls. The deformities were principally arthrogryposes with contractures, particularly of the forelimbs, and various skull abnormalities. Following investigation it was considered highly unlikely that hereditary causes, infectious agents or a nutritional deficiency were responsible. The most likely cause was exposure to an unidentified teratogen early in pregnancy.
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