From Cow

Bovine cataracts is a rare autosomal recessive congenital eye disease of calves worldwide[1].

This disease is characterised by calves born with abnormally small and crystalline ocular lenses[2]. This disease may be unilateral or bilateral[3].

An increased incidence of this has been noted in cattle farmed near mobile phone base stations[4][5].

In cattle, cataracts cause blindness and affected calves require either corrective surgery or are culled.

Other congenital diseases such as microphthalmos, microcoria, microcornea, microlentia, retinal dysplasia, retinal detachment, anterior segment dysgenesis, acorea and proliferation of the anterior neuroectoderm[6].


  1. Abbasi AR et al (2009) A mutation of the WFDC1 gene is responsible for multiple ocular defects in cattle. Genomics 94(1):55-62
  2. Kaswan RL et al (1987) Multiple hereditary ocular anomalies in a herd of cattle. J Am Vet Med Assoc 191(1):97-99
  3. Hurley S (2008) Blind but healthy calves. Vet Rec 163(19):579
  4. Hässig M et al (2012) Increased occurrence of nuclear cataract in the calf after erection of a mobile phone base station. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 154(2):82-86
  5. Hässig M et al (2009) Prevalence of nuclear cataract in Swiss veal calves and its possible association with mobile telephone antenna base stations. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 151(10):471-478
  6. Rupp GP & Knight AP (1984) Congenital ocular defects in a crossbred beef herd. J Am Vet Med Assoc 184(9):1149-1150