Cow ?licked? after eating car battery
By EMMA CORNFORD
A COW'S death after it ate a car battery has prompted the Rural Lands Protection Board to issue a warning to beef cattle farmers to change their disposal habits.
Grafton Rural Lands Protection Board district vet Ian Harradine said it was not the first time he had come across a cow which had died from lead poisoning after it had eaten a battery.
"In 25 years here I've seen around 10 cases of lead poisoning from cows eating old car batteries or something covered in lead-based paint, like old weatherboard or roofing," he said.
"If a car battery is left in a paddock the top part will perish and that can give cattle access to lead. Because cattle like to eat different things and heavy metals could be a problem."
While Mr Harradine stressed that high amounts of lead or heavy metals in Australian beef cattle was not a widespread or concerning problem, he said it was important for farmers to be aware of the issue.
"With Australia's clean and green image, which the beef industry relies on, it may no longer be acceptable to graze stock amongst junk in paddocks.
"Obviously farmers should pay attention to what they do with their flat car batteries and don't leave them where cattle can get hold of them. My suggestion would be to take them to the scrap metal bloke who'll take them off your hands quick smart, otherwise lock them up in a shed."