FACT CHECK: No, Cows In Italy Are Not Dying After Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

Images shared on Twitter purport cows in Italy are dying after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Verdict: False

The images stem from an August 2022 Bilyonaryo article blaming a drought for the cows’ deaths. Fifty cows died from acute prussic acid poisoning by sorghum plants as a result of the drought, according to a piece from The Animal Reader.

Fact Check:

Labels could be added to meats indicating livestock have been vaccinated with inoculations that use the same technology as the COVID-19 vaccine, Cowboy State Daily reported in April 2023. The article precedes Texas S.B. 2632, which would prohibit the sale of any meat that does not indicate the livestock received an mRNA vaccine, local outlet KHOU reported.

“Northern Italys [sic] Government came and vaccinated cattle against Covid-19. Look at the result all dead or dying the next day,” the Twitter post, which features two photos of dying cattle and has received almost 24,000 views, purports.

The claim is false, as the images stem from an August 2022 Bilyonaryo article blaming a drought for the cows’ deaths. The cows, housed on a farm in Sommariva del Bosco, were poisoned by sorghum plants, the article indicated.

Sorghum plants contain dhurrin, according to an article from The Animal Reader. The drought reportedly caused a very large quantity of dhurrin to concentrate inside the sorghum plants, which then resulted in the cows dying via acute prussic acid poisoning, also according to the article. Acute prussic acid, or hydrogen cyanide poisoning, typically occurs very quickly in cattle. Fifty cows died as a result of the August 2022 incident, the outlet indicated.

Although claims have circulated about U.S. farmers injecting their cattle with mRNA vaccines, the same cannot be said of the Italian government. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports indicating cows in Italy have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or that they are dying as a result of the vaccination.

In addition, the claim neither appears on the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie’s website nor its social media accounts. (RELATED: Has The COVID-19 Virus Stopped Mutating?)

This is not the first time a false claim has circulated online. Check Your Fact previously debunked a social media post purporting to show footage of a recent train derailment in India.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter