Yew Tree Poisoning.

Yew Poisoning Taxus baccata.

 

Watch out for Yew!!!

Yew trees are deadly poisonous to horses! They are so toxic that even chewing on a single branch can (and frequently does) cause INSTANT death.

Fortunately Yew is very bitter tasting and most horses will not eat it – however in circumstances when forage is short they will sometimes chew Yew with fatal consequences.

For centuries Yew has been grown in church yards to ensure that livestock cannot gain access to it and some of the Yew trees in the UK are of tremendous age (one is known to be over 4,000 years old). Horse owners are not always aware of just how dangerous this plant is. Always ensure that Yew clippings are never put into the same field as horses are grazing.

Most parts of the tree are toxic, except the bright red aril surrounding the seed. The foliage remains toxic even when wilted.The major toxin within the Yew is the alkaloid taxine. It is a cardiotoxin and exerts it effects on the heart where it causes fibrillation and acute cardiac arrest. There is no treatment.

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