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Toxins 2015, 7(12), 5301-5307;

Alkaloid-Containing Plants Poisonous to Cattle and Horses in Europe

Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety (VESPA), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin Welch
Received: 19 October 2015 / Revised: 17 November 2015 / Accepted: 1 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxicity of Natural Alkaloids)
Full-Text   |   PDF [181 KB, uploaded 8 December 2015]


Alkaloids, nitrogen-containing secondary plant metabolites, are of major interest to veterinary toxicology because of their occurrence in plant species commonly involved in animal poisoning. Based on epidemiological data, the poisoning of cattle and horses by alkaloid-containing plants is a relatively common occurrence in Europe. Poisoning may occur when the plants contaminate hay or silage or when forage alternatives are unavailable. Cattle and horses are particularly at risk of poisoning by Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron), Conium maculatum (poison hemlock), Datura stramonium (jimson weed), Equisetum palustre (marsh horsetail), Senecio spp. (ragwort and groundsel) and Taxus baccata (European yew). This review of poisonous alkaloid-containing plants describes the distribution of these plants, conditions under which poisoning occurs, active toxic principles involved and subsequent clinical signs observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: alkaloids; cattle; Europe; horse; plant; poisoning; toxicity alkaloids; cattle; Europe; horse; plant; poisoning; toxicity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Cortinovis, C.; Caloni, F. Alkaloid-Containing Plants Poisonous to Cattle and Horses in Europe. Toxins 2015, 7, 5301-5307.

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