Investigation launched into 20 cattle deaths in Co Kerry

Gardaí believe animals died after ingesting lead from old batteries thrown into field

Gardaí in north Kerry are investigating the deaths of  20 cattle. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Gardaí in north Kerry are investigating the deaths of 20 cattle. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

 

Gardaí in north Kerry are appealing for information from the public after 20 cattle, mostly cows and their calves, died after ingesting lead.

The deaths occurred after old batteries were thrown into a roadside field near Tarbert, where the herd was grazing.

Gardaí said they were keeping an open mind on whether the batteries were discarded carelessly as rubbish or dumped deliberately with the intention of targeting the cattle.

Insp Pat O’Connell of Listowel, who is coordinating the investigation, said gardaí would like to hear from the public on the incident, particularly if anyone saw the broken-up batteries being thrown into the field.

The incident occurred between July 29th and August 2nd. The cattle, who comprised almost half the herd in the field at the time, died over the bank holiday weekend.

Vets visited the scene and samples from the dead animals have been sent for analysis.

Cattle deaths

Fourteen of the animals died initially, followed by a further six in the days since August 2nd.

Gardaí believe the cattle licked the discarded batteries and contracted lead poisoning, which is almost always fatal to cattle.

Lead poisoning is a factor in the deaths of a number of cattle each year, according to vets.

Gardaí in Listowel are asking anyone with any information to contact them at 068-50827.