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A reconnaissance survey of farmers’ awareness of hypomagnesaemic tetany in UK cattle and sheep farms

Kumssa, DB, Penrose, B ORCID: 0000-0001-9604-4953, Bone, PA, Lovatt, JA, Broadley, MR, Kendall, NR and Ander, EL 2019 , 'A reconnaissance survey of farmers’ awareness of hypomagnesaemic tetany in UK cattle and sheep farms' , PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 10 , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223868.

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Hypomagnesaemic tetany (HypoMgT) in ruminants is a physiological disorder caused by inadequate intake or impaired absorption of magnesium (Mg) in the gut. If it is not detected and treated in time, HypoMgT can cause the death of the affected animal. A semi-structured questionnaire survey was conducted from July 2016–2017 to assess farmers’ awareness of HypoMgT in cattle and sheep in the UK. The questionnaire was distributed to farmers at farm business events and agricultural shows, and through a collaborative group of independent veterinary practices to their clients. Farmers were asked about (i) the incidence of presumed HypoMgT (PHT); (ii) their strategies to treat or prevent HypoMgT; (iii) mineral tests on animals, forage and soil, and (iv) farm enterprise type. A total of 285 responses were received from 82 cattle, 157 mixed cattle and sheep, and 46 sheep farmers, of whom 39% reported HypoMgT in their livestock, affecting 1–30 animals. Treatment and/or prevention against HypoMgT was reported by 96% respondents with PHT and 79% of those without. Mineral tests on animal, forage, and soil was conducted by 24%, 53%, and 66% of the respondents, respectively, regardless of PHT. There was a highly significant association between the use of interventions to tackle HypoMgT and the incidence of PHT (p

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kumssa, DB and Penrose, B and Bone, PA and Lovatt, JA and Broadley, MR and Kendall, NR and Ander, EL
Keywords: hypomagnesaemia, tetany, grass, dairy, beef, sheep
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223868
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