Earlier this week, a farmer in Cork lost seven animals after his herd came in contact with old batteries in a disused quarry. This week, specialist veterinary officers from the Department of Agriculture respond to queries and the risks involved.

Lead poisoning is the most commonly diagnosed cause of fatal poisoning in cattle presented for post-mortem examination to the Department’s veterinary laboratories. The 2014 All-island Animal Disease Surveillance Report shows that lead poisoning accounted for over 40% (28 cases) of all fatal poisonings in cattle on the island of Ireland.