Botulism in cattle


Botulism is a paralysing disease of animals, birds and humans caused by a potent nerve toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Toxin is produced when the bacterium is in the vegetative state and is either ingested in the feed or is produced by the botulism bacteria as it grows in the gut or in deep wounds.

The contents of this Primefact include information on the following:

  • What is 'botulism' and what causes it?
  • When do botulism outbreaks occur?
  • How do botulism toxins cause paralysis?
  • What are the symptoms of botulism toxicity?
  • Diagnosis
  • What is the treatment?
  • Recovery of affected animals
  • How safe is meat and milk from farms suffering botulism outbreaks?
  • How can you prevent botulism?
  • How do you dispose of dead animals in a botulism outbreak?


Primefact 596 Second Edition

Published: Feb 2018