No, cows in Italy did not die due to the COVID-19 vaccine

By: Umme Kulsum
June 7 2023

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No, cows in Italy did not die due to the COVID-19 vaccine

Source: (Twitter/@RobertCawood2)


The Verdict False

The death of cows has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines. Old unrelated images are circulating with a false narrative.

Claim ID 840ad993

An image of dead cows has gone viral on social media with a narrative that the animals died after being vaccinated against COVID-19. A tweet carried this image with the caption, "Northern Italys Government came and vaccinated cattle against Covid-19. Look at the result, all dead or dying the next day [sic]." The post has accumulated more than 20,000 views. The image was also widely shared on Facebook with the same claim.

However, the images of dead cows in the viral post are old and have nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccines. 

False claims and conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19 mRNA vaccines being injected into cows have gained traction recently. Inaccurate information about COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines has been circulating since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

In Fact
Through a reverse image search of visuals from the viral clip, Logically Facts found a video published in 2022 by Italian news outlet, Corriere della Sera. The video had the same visuals of cows lying on the ground, as seen in the viral post. The report stated that the incident occurred on August 6, 2022, at a farm near Turin and that the deaths resulted from prussic acid poisoning caused by the consumption of young sorghum plants. 

AFP also reported the incident and stated that around fifty cows died due to poisoning. Stefano Giantin, a vet at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale for northwest Italy, told AFP, "We suspect that the drought caused this very large quantity of dhurrin within the sorghum plants." 

According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study, prussic acid comes from dhurrin, which is naturally present in young sorghum plants. When sorghum plants grow, the amount of dhurrin decreases as it gets bigger. Another NCBI study said, "The concentration of dhurrin has long been known to increase in response to drought stress." This makes the plants potentially dangerous for grazing leading to the death of livestock.

Moreover, there is no evidence that the government in Italy is injecting livestock with COVID-19 vaccines. Logically Facts has also previously debunked false about COVID-19 vaccines being administered into the food supply or livestock. 

This particular image was also shared with the claim that cows in Ireland are being culled. Logically Facts has also debunked that claim. 

Old images of dead cows are falsely linked to COVID-19 vaccines. No mRNA vaccines are authorized for use in animals in Italy or Europe. Therefore, we mark this claim false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before