Dung menace

Published: Monday 15 October 2001

Did anyone have wild thoughts about cow dung harming the Alpine pastures? Yes it can, claim French researchers. According to them, cow dung in the Alpine pastures is extremely toxic due to the use of ivermectin, a drug administered to cows for protecting them from parasites during summer months. The cow dung of these treated cattle is eaten by insects. This not only threatens the insects, but also small animals that feed on them. Moreover, the dung remains in the pasture for four years or more, preventing plant growth. The researchers are planning to spread awareness among the farmers about the harmful effects of ivermectin and will urge them to use its alternatives (Nature , Vol 413, No 6851, p10).

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