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A major outbreak of botulism in cattle being fed ensiled poultry litter
  1. MF McLoughlin,
  2. SG Mcllroy and
  3. SD Neill
  1. Veterinary Research Laboratories, Stormont, Belfast.


Eighty of a group of 150 housed beef cattle showed classical signs of botulism after eating a batch of ensiled poultry litter. Sixty-eight of the animals died and Clostridium botulinum type C toxin was detected in 18 of 22 sera examined. C botulinum organisms were isolated from the ensiled litter and type C toxin was demonstrated in samples of decomposed poultry carcases present in the litter. This outbreak of bovine botulism was the most serious to have been recorded in Europe and was the first associated with feeding ensiled poultry litter.

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