A reconnaissance survey of farmers’ awareness of hypomagnesaemic tetany in UK cattle and sheep farms

Autoři: Diriba B. Kumssa aff001;  Beth Penrose aff002;  Peter A. Bone aff003;  J. Alan Lovatt aff004;  Martin R. Broadley aff001;  Nigel R. Kendall aff005;  E. Louise Ander aff006
Působiště autorů: School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, United Kingdom aff001;  School of Land & Food, University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia aff002;  Livestock and Grassland Mineral Consultancy, Fairford, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom aff003;  Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom aff004;  School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Leicestershire, United Kingdom aff005;  Inorganic Geochemistry, Centre for Environmental Geochemistry, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom aff006
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223868


Hypomagnesaemic tetany (HypoMgT) in ruminants is a physiological disorder caused by inadequate intake or impaired absorption of magnesium (Mg) in the gut. If it is not detected and treated in time, HypoMgT can cause the death of the affected animal. A semi-structured questionnaire survey was conducted from July 2016–2017 to assess farmers’ awareness of HypoMgT in cattle and sheep in the UK. The questionnaire was distributed to farmers at farm business events and agricultural shows, and through a collaborative group of independent veterinary practices to their clients. Farmers were asked about (i) the incidence of presumed HypoMgT (PHT); (ii) their strategies to treat or prevent HypoMgT; (iii) mineral tests on animals, forage and soil, and (iv) farm enterprise type. A total of 285 responses were received from 82 cattle, 157 mixed cattle and sheep, and 46 sheep farmers, of whom 39% reported HypoMgT in their livestock, affecting 1–30 animals. Treatment and/or prevention against HypoMgT was reported by 96% respondents with PHT and 79% of those without. Mineral tests on animal, forage, and soil was conducted by 24%, 53%, and 66% of the respondents, respectively, regardless of PHT. There was a highly significant association between the use of interventions to tackle HypoMgT and the incidence of PHT (p < 0.01). The top three treatment/prevention strategies used were reported as being free access supplementation (149), in feed supplementation (59) and direct to animal treatments (drenches, boluses and injections) (45) although these did vary by farm type. Although some (9) reported using Mg-lime, no other pasture management interventions were reported (e.g., Mg-fertilisation or sward composition). Generally, the results indicate that UK farmers are aware of the risks of HypoMgT. A more integrated soil-forage-animal assessment may improve the effectiveness of tackling HypoMgT and help highlight the root causes of the problem.

Klíčová slova:

Agricultural workers – Beef – Farms – Grazing – Livestock – Livestock care – Ruminants – Sheep


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2019 Číslo 10
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