Wauchope Vets are warning producers of the deadly repercussions of contaminated intermediate bulk containers (IBC) used to water animals after a number of young heifers were found dead during a recent call out.
In what is the second incident with stock deaths for Wauchope Vets in the last four months, they recently attended a property where five young heifers were dead and another was dying after drinking water from a trough filled with a previously used IBC tank.
They believe the tanks previously contained a diesel fuel additive containing urea, which despite being washed out, contaminated the livestock's water.
IBC tanks are reusable, multi-use industrial-grade containers for the mass handling, transport and storage of liquids, semi-solids, pastes, or solids.
Wauchope Vets shared the news on Facebook and said urea poisoning caused rapid death in livestock.
"Cattle can show agitation, irritability, and aggressive behaviour, with loss of ruminal tone and bloating," they said.
"Sheep are often dull and depressed. Horses may show depression and head pressing. Sadly depending on the amount ingested, they normally will die quite quickly."
They said farmers were struggling enough with the drought to have to deal with these tragedies.
"This is one of the awful realities of drought and the complications of providing safe clean water to livestock," they said.