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Yew Had Better Watch Out!

Clell V. Bagley DVM, Utah State University
Kip E. Panter Ph.D, Utah Sate University


If you see clippings from ornamental, evergreen shrubs that someone has dumped where cattle, horses, sheep, etc., can eat them, you had better move the plants or the animals. If you don’t, expect some dead animals. Ornamental yew shrubs are highly toxic to animals and trimmings are often placed where animals can eat them. There have been at least two incidents of herd poisonings in Utah cattle. In one of these, 35 out of 43 pregnant 2-year old heifers died and in the other 7 of 30 died. Both of these resulted when someone other than the owner discarded portions of the shrubs in a grazing area where the cattle were located. The estimated minimum losses were $25,000 and $5,000 respectively for these two producers.