UPDATE: Moldy sweet potatoes believed to be the steer killer - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Moldy sweet potatoes believed to be the killer of 200 steers

MADISON (WAOW)--Veterinary scientists at UW-Madison say they believe moldy sweet potatoes are to blame for the death hundreds of steers on a Portage County farm.

Dr. Peter Vanderloo, associate director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory tells Newsline 9 that scientists analyzed samples from 2 steers that died on a Town of Stockton farm. They found that there were no viral pathogens. However scientists discovered changes in tissue, they believe are comparable with mold toxicity syndrome. Tests on feed samples also revealed the presence of ipomeanol, a mycotoxin found in moldy sweet potatoes.

Earlier, Donna Gilson with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer reported that the steers were killed by pneumonia. Testing ruled out a bovine virus that causes respiratory and reproductive problems in cows.

Newsline 9 first reported the story January 14, when Portage County authorities confirmed the death of the 200 steers.

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