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EC number: 215-572-9
CAS number: 1332-65-6
The importance of molybdenum, sulphur, iron, zinc and cadmium
dietary antagonists to ruminant copper metabolism was investigated at
the farm level in an attempt to explain the widespread occurence of
bovine hypocupraemia in recent years.
From 22 of the most severely hypocupraemic regions of England, six
areas with as wide a range of geological, pedological and topological
situations as possible were selected for detailed field work. This
involved the collection of topsoil and herbage samples from
approximately 15 farms per area with hypocupraemic stock. Possible
causal factors of bovine hypocupraemia were then considered on the basis
of three citeria: critical concentrations of copper, molybdenum,
sulphur, iron, zinc and cadmium in pasture herbage; Cu:Mo rations in
herbage; and copper availability predictions for ruminants.
Absolute copper deficiency and molybdenum-induced bovine
hypocupraemia were clearly demonstrated at the farm level. The results
also confirmed that dietary sulphur, in particular, plays a significant
yet previously unrecognized role in the widespread incidence of bovine
hypocupraemia in industrialized Britain. Antagonism due to iron
orgination from soil-contaminated herbage was evident, but not common.
No evidence was found to support the occurrence of zinc- or
cadmium-induced hypocupraemia in the areas examined.
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