Process Management

News 4363 views 5 commentslast update:7 Aug 2012

Urea poisoning killed Mexican cattle

The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (SAGARPA) has confirmed that the death of 600 head of cattle in Actopan was caused by urea poisoning through poultry manure.

Poultry manure contains large amounts of urea, which is transformed into ammonia inside the stomach of the animal and generates amino acids or proteins, substances that cause excessive intoxication.
 
The delegate of SAGARPA, José Vicente Ramirez Martinez, said the death of 600 cows in the municipality of Actopan was caused by poisoning by consumption of a cheap food of bad quality called ‘pollinaza’ (manure), which the stock ranchers gave to their livestock without realising the consequences.
 
“After conducting a study of dead animals, it was discovered that cause of death was the consumption in excessive quantities of a feed comprising a cheap and shoddy chicken litter which poisoned the animals that died,” he said.
 
“The results showed traces of urea, which involves a pattern of intoxication, however, independently of this we are awaiting the outcome [of the investigation] of the manure," explained the federal official.

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5 comments

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    Dr.Mohamed Fathy Salem

    It is a sorrow to hear this bad news from The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (SAGARPA).I am woundering why they put the poultry manure in the diet of feeding cattle.I am advising them to start a bioconversion of agricultural byproducts and enrich its proten content.I am willing to cooperate with SAGARPA in this new approach.

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    Roy Chapin

    The article states "Poultry manure contains large amounts of urea, which is transformed into ammonia inside the stomach of the animal and generates amino acids or proteins, substances that cause excessive intoxication."

    If the ammonia were transferred to amino acids (by the rumen microorganisms)there would be no problem. The problem developed because the ammonia crossed the rumen wall and created problems that killed the animal. By drenching with a liter of vinegar, the ammonia (NH3) would be changed to ammonium (NH4)and ammonium cannot cross the rumen wall. I have done it (in Mexico) and saved the animal.

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    Ad van Vuuren

    This conclusion should be read with some reserve: poultry excrete uric acid, not urea; amino acids and protein synthesised in the rumen by micro-organism are not toxic substances to ruminants.

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    Dr Ali Ahmed

    It seems impossible if some one can add urea directly into poultry litter as it is also very dangerous for his birds. May be they would have added urea with this litter while making feed and that increased the dose of total nitrogen that became lethal to the cattle.

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    Sandra Baxendell

    Feeding poultry manure to cattle is banned in Queensland due to past outbreaks of botulism.

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