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Influences of Glyphosate Contaminations and Concentrate Feed on Performance, Blood Parameters, Blood Cell Functionality and DNA Damage Properties in Fattening Bulls

Glyphosate (GLY), the active substance in non-selective herbicides, is often found in ruminant feed. The present feeding study aimed to investigate the effects of GLY-contaminated rations and different concentrate feed proportions (CFP) on the health of fattening German Holstein bulls. Bulls were grouped by low (LC) or high (HC) CFP with (GLYLC, GLYHC) or without GLY-contaminations (CONLC, CONHC) in their rations. Intakes (dry matter, water) and body weight were documented continuously lasting over an average range from 392.2 ± 60.4 kg to 541.2 ± 67.4 kg (mean ± SD). Blood samples collected at the trial’s beginning, and after 7 and 15 weeks, were analyzed for hematological and clinical-chemical traits, functional properties of leukocytes, redox parameters and DNA damage. The average GLY exposures of 128.6 (GLYHC), 213.7 (GLYLC), 1.3 (CONHC) and 2.0 µg/kg body weight/d (CONLC) did not lead to GLY effects for most of the assessed parameters relating to animal health and performance. CFP and time displayed marked influences on most of the experimental parameters such as higher dry matter intake and average daily gain in HC compared with the LC groups. GLY effects were rather weak. However, the observed interactive effects between GLY and CFP and/or time occurring in an inconsistent manner are likely not reproducible. Finally, all animals remained clinically inconspicuous, which brings into question the physiological relevance of putative GLY effects.



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