They died one after the other in a matter of minutes. Fifty cows killed by sorghum, a cereal. At least this is the hypothesis on which the experts of the zooprophylactic institute in charge of the analyzes are working. “I also asked the farmers in the area, no one remembers a similar fact by heart,” assures the mayor of Sommariva del Bosco Marco Pedussia.
The protagonist of this story is Giacomino Olivero, 58, still upset by what has happened to him. «A disaster – he says – The vets have just arrived to collect the ear tags of the cows. The truck is already waiting to take them away, ”he says. With him is his grandson who was also present on Saturday when a third of their cattle died in a meadow.
The cows died intoxicated, suffocated by sorghum, a plant that grows well in drought conditions but is toxic to cows. “The farm explained to us that the first cut of the evening cereal was used to make hay but that the farmer was told that he could now bring the animals,” explains the mayor. After ten minutes of being in the field, however, the cows started shaking and falling to the ground. “You saw them gasping and dying,” says the farmer. In a very short time the camp was filled with people, the ASL veterinarians arrived, even the forest police and many of Olivero’s colleagues. Together they managed to drag away most of the livestock and save the animals by preventing them from eating the toxic cereal which, in young plants, which can develop toxic substances, affects the nervous system of the animals. Death occurs by asphyxiation.
The zooprophylactic institute is still carrying out tests on the material taken Saturday in Sommariva del Bosco to verify that this is the cause of death of the animals.
«I don’t know what the cause is, I don’t accuse anyone – says the farmer – I sowed that field. We wondered what to do with this drought, I researched and found that that cereal was also well suited to these climates. I had never used it but the prospect of not having hay for the winter convinced me to give it a try. Now I feel like I’ve brought my animals to death, ”he says. Olivero comes from a farming family, he has been grazing cows since I was six. “I’ve already had a heart attack in my life, this story in moments brings me a second,” he confides. He is terrified and worried. «I am fond of my animals one by one, and I also think about the economic damage. It’s huge”. By evening the carcasses will be removed, the veterinarian has been monitoring the health of the 30 cows that survived last Saturday for days. “Most are fine, but some still have some symptoms of intoxication.”
“We express our utmost solidarity to the breeder Giacomino Olivero – declares Enrico Nada, President of Coldiretti Cuneo – as an organization we are moving to help coordinate the initiatives of solidarity with the farm”. The solidarity of the agricultural world has been enormous. On the facebook page of the municipality of Sommariva del Bosco the farmers, the municipality, the local associations have started a fundraiser that is headed by the parish. “From today it is possible to make donations for the serious damage suffered by the Olivero Giacomino family to the following IBAN: IT70L0306909606100000115303
Parish Church S.mi Giacomo and Filippo. It is very important to indicate the reason: the Olivero family donation for damage to livestock.