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?
  • Under what conditions do outbreaks occur?
  • How does the toxin cause paralysis?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • Diagnosis
  • What is the treatment?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • How safe is meat and milk from farms suffering botulism outbreaks?
  • How can you prevent botulism?
  • How do you dispose of the dead animals in a botulism outbreak?
  • Preventing access to restricted animal material (RAM).


Primefact 596 First Edition

Published: Apr 2007