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Liver copper concentrations in cull cattle in the UK: are cattle being copper loaded?

Kendall, Nigel R.; Holmes-Pavord, H.R.; Bone, P.A.; Ander, E. Louise; Young, Scott D.

Authors

H.R. Holmes-Pavord

P.A. Bone

Scott D. Young



Abstract

With the release of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/Advisory Committee on Animal Feed Guidance Note for Supplementing Copper to Bovines it was noted that the current copper status of the national herd was not known. Liver samples were recovered from 510 cull cattle at a single abattoir across a period of three days. The samples were wet-ashed and liver copper concentrations determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis. Breed, age and previous location information were obtained from the British Cattle Movement Service. Dairy breeds had higher liver copper concentrations than beef breeds. Holstein-Friesian and ‘other’ dairy breeds had 38.3 per cent and 40 per cent of cattle above the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) reference range (8000 µmol/kg dry matter), respectively, whereas only 16.9 per cent of animals in the combined beef breeds exceeded this value. It was found that underlying topsoil copper concentration was not related to liver copper content and that age of the animal also had little effect on liver concentration. In conclusion, over 50 per cent of the liver samples tested had greater-than-normal concentrations of copper with almost 40 per cent of the female dairy cattle having liver copper concentrations above the AHVLA reference range, indicating that a significant proportion of the UK herd is at risk of chronic copper toxicity.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 14, 2015
Journal Veterinary Record
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Electronic ISSN 2042-7670
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 177
Issue 19
Article Number 493
APA6 Citation Kendall, N. R., Holmes-Pavord, H., Bone, P., Ander, E. L., & Young, S. D. (2015). Liver copper concentrations in cull cattle in the UK: are cattle being copper loaded?. Veterinary Record, 177(19), https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.103078
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.103078
Publisher URL http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/177/19/493
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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Copyright Statement
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