Now most beef and dairy cattle are housed, be vigilant for signs of botulism when feeding silage.
Cases of botulism occur mainly in cattle and are thought to be caused by poultry litter spread on pasture, the feeding of ensiled poultry manure, bird carcases in silage clamps and bakery waste.
Clinical disease resulting from the ingestion of the toxin clostridium botulinum can range from sudden death or recovery within 14 to 21 hours.
Cattle are particularly susceptible and all ages can be affected, being sensitive to very small amounts of the toxin.
The bacteria will grow to high levels in the environment and in decaying organic matter including animal and bird carcases.
There is no effective treatment. It can be vaccinated against but is likely to require a specific vaccine.