Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
    
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Animals Cannot Digest Plastic, Either

Mon, 02 May 2016 10:49:24 CDT

Animals Cannot Digest Plastic, Either
   

Birthday, wedding and graduation celebrations often include releasing helium balloons. What a sight to see as the balloons are released to gently float away.

However, that is about where this fairytale ends. The balloons actually do not just float away never to be seen again.

"I donít think people realize the balloons donít just keep going up forever. They come back down, often in important areas for wildlife and in the ocean," said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist.

Released helium balloons and wind-blown plastic grocery sacks can be ingested by animals or cause them to become entangled. Pictures of wildlife species from all over the world suffering from human trash are littered throughout the internet.

"Not only is it a hazard for wildlife, itís simply littering," Elmore said. "Itís not just a local problem, either. Those helium balloons can travel many, many miles before they come down."

While wildlife fatalities are hard to quantify, the impact on livestock is quite evident for farmers and ranchers.

"Younger, growing cattle in particular may be curious and chew on them leading to an occasional ingestion of at least part of a bag," said Dave Lalman, OSU Cooperative Extension beef specialist. "The bag would basically be indigestible, so it would either pass the rumen eventually and be voided or it would remain in the rumen for a long, long time."

The plastic could block the intestine over time, causing discomfort, pain and eventual repture of the digestive tract leading to death. Producers have to keep a vigilant eye on their herd and property.

"Whether itís a balloon, sack or other random trash, cattle and especially calves seem to gravitate towards it like a bass to a shiny lure," said Will Cubbage, former OSU Cooperative Extension specialist in Osage County and current rancher. "Iíve caught calves and yearling cattle with sacks and balloons in their mouths, but fortunately havenít lost any directly to it that we know of, unlike some other people I know."

It is a constant battle. Many ranch property borders butt up against well-traveled highways, leaving producers scouring their fence lines for garbage.

"Our places happen to be near major roads and highways. That seems to be the major sources of the plastic sack issue," Cubbage said. "We police the road ditches pretty regularly for these and other litter."

For wildlife though, there is no one looking out for them.

"Everyone needs to be a steward of the land," Elmore said. "We are killing our wildlife and causing problems for ranchers and agricultural producers because we are negligent about things we can control. Donít litter."

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Friday December 6 2019 Market Wrapup with Justin Lewis  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 20:11:33
  • Plains Cotton Growers Offers Stress Resources to Producers  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:50:47 CST
  • 2019-2020 Oklahoma High School Seniors Conservation Auxiliary Scolarship Application  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:40:45 CST
  • Recapping the 2019 U.S. Soybean Crop Results  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:34:12 CST
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2019  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 17:30:01 CST
  • Hannah Thompson-Weeman on the Book- What Would Jesus REALLY Eat?  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 13:49:38
  • US Pork to China Now at Fast and Furious Pace Based on Latest US Meat Export Stats  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 13:43:49
  • Atop the RON Rural Soapbox - Former Secretary John Block  Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:52:47 CST

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show AFR Insurance Stillwater Milling KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!

    Banc First OPSRC ORWA TPAOO TPAOO

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com


       
       
    © 2008-2019 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.