1 Department of Animal Sciences, Aksum University Shire Campus, College of Agriculture, P.O. Box 314, Shire, Ethiopia
Plants are the major source of feed and have vital nutritious importance to animals; however, they also comprise a large variety of poisons known.
A study was conducted to identify potential poisonous plants to domestic animals and its veterinary importance in selected districts of Afar region, Northeast Ethiopia.
Questionnaire survey and key informants interview were done with a total of 245 respondents and plant samples were taken for identification.
A total of 21 plants were identified and documented to have a poisonous effect on livestock. The poisonous plants frequently complained by the respondents were Capparis tomentosa, Prosopis juliflora, Parthenium hysterophorus, Lantana camara, Acacia absynica, Sorghum bicolar, Datura stramonium, Plantago lanceolata, Pteridium aquilinum and Solanum incanum. The majorly described predisposing factors for the occurrence of plant poisoning were feed shortage, nutritional deficiency and excessive consumption. The common poisoning seasons indicated were at the end of rainy season and during drought time. The plant parts that caused poisoning were leaves of plants. This study also revealed that bloating and other GIT disturbances, salivation, bloody urine and in appetance were among the frequently manifested signs in poisoned livestock. Moreover, this study showed that caprine and ovine followed by camels and bovine were the most frequently poisoned animals.
Phytopoisoning is commonly occurring and challenging health of livestock in the study area. Hence, proper range management should be practiced to decrease the danger of plant poisoning to animals and all concerned bodies should collaborate on pasture and water development programs to minimize the risk of enforced consumption of livestock on poisonous plants due to feed shortage.
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