Poisonous plants: Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata)
At the 12th Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition a paper related to Australian Stringhalt cases in France was presented by Nathalie Priymenko. Australian Stringhalt is a syndrome characterised by abnormal gait and involuntary hyperflexion of the hindlimbs during movement. In the hot and dry summer of 2003 an outbreak of cases appeared mainly in the South of France. The disease seems to affect horses mainly (no donkeys and almost no ponies are affected). Most horses that were affected lived on a pasture that was covered 1-50% with Catsear (Hypochaeris radicata). The plant is spreading and does grow in other Western European countries. The precise conditions under which poisoning may occur have not been clearly defined.
More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochaeris_radicata