Kootenay Livestock Association is concerned more cows could die in the future due to two local plants.
The indigenous plants at issue here are Larkspur and Death Camas
Acting Association President Morgan Dilts says the pair are native to the region and are poisonous to cattle, killing 11 this year alone.
Dilts says the plants saw a wider spread this Spring and he believes climate change is a factor.
“A lot of noxious weeds have a bitter taste to it so you’ll see cattle avoid those areas, but these particular plants do not,” Dilts says. “So as they are eating the grasses and they happen to pick these up, they’ll ingest it and the toxicity levels will cause them to die, if they ingest enough of it.”
Dilts says conditions have been just right for these plants to spread, which gave them a jump start ahead of native grasses in the spring.
He says cattle ranchers have spread the word.
“We’ve been working toward some different tools to mitigate and help maybe alleviate any more problems in the future, as far as providing maybe different pasture rotations for people to move to if this becomes a problem,” Dilts says.
He says its important to understand what type of plants they are dealing with to prevent their growth and keep livestock out of problem areas.
– Morgan Dilts, Kootenay Livestock Association