Dispose of Garden Clippings Safely this Autumn

Yew Poisoning kills four cattle on Ayrshire farm

NFU Scotland is urging the general public to take care with their garden clippings this autumn after the accidental poisoning of cattle on an Ayrshire farm.

Yew clippings disposed of into a field were consumed by a group of heifers, resulting in the death of four of the animals and severe illness in others.

The Union is reminding the public that clippings from shrubs and hedges – including yew, rhododendrons, aconite, boxwood, lupins, laurel, laburnum – can be poisonous if consumed by livestock.

Members of the general public are being asked to never throw any clippings over the hedge onto farmland and to make use of the recycling routes provided by local authorities.

NFU Scotland spokesman Bob Carruth said:

“This unfortunate accident serves as a sharp reminder that many of our common and garden shrubs, bushes and hedges are highly dangerous to livestock if not disposed of properly.

“Clippings from these shrubs should never be thrown over the hedge into fields where cattle and sheep graze.

“In some of these plants, the toxic substances are most active when the clippings begin to wither.  Animals are more prone to consuming them when they are in this condition and that can have deadly consequences.

“If in any doubt, it is a safe rule to regard all garden trimmings as unsafe for farm animals.  To avoid livestock suffering in this manner again, we would urge all members of the public to dispose of clippings and trimmings safely this autumn, using their recycling bins or local disposal sites.” 


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 126/13

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