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Adulteration Of Calves Food

Volume 180: debated on Wednesday 7 August 1907

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I beg to ask, the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his Department is aware that feeding stuffs for calves are so heavily adulterated that hundreds of these young animals die before they are a month old; whether he will inquire of the Secretary of his Department if he has had crushed linseed, which had been sent to him from Clare on or about the Kith April, analysed; will he state the percentage of organic and mineral matter; what the latter was that was found in the crushed linseed; and will he give instructions to his Department to appoint inspectors in the cities and large towns to take samples of feeding stuff's and forward them to the Department to be analysed.

The Department are aware that there are some meals sold in Ireland for calf rearing purposes which are seriously adulterated, and that it has been stated that in many instances calves died from being fed with this deleterious matter. Moreover, some of these adulterated calf meals are sold at many times their actual value. In three test eases, those of the Union Feeding Company of Liverpool selling "Linko" at Enniscorthy, the same company selling "Linko" at Enniskillen, and the National Feeding Company of Cork selling "calf meal" at Caherciveen, the purchasers, on receiving the Department's analysis and estimate of value, refused payment of price charged, and when prosecuted by vendors were entirely successful and obtained costs. In the "Linko" case, tried at Enniskillen, the vendors obtained a decree in the Lower Court for the full amount claimed. This decision, however, was modified on appeal thus—a decree was given for 7s., the maximum value placed by the Department on the meal for which the company charged 28s., and costs were given against the company; in the third case the company concerned appealed against the adverse judgment of the Lower Court, but when the appeal came on for hearing they withdrew, and costs were awarded to the defendants. In the case mentioned in the Question, a sample of material sold as "crushed flaxseed" for calf rearing purposes was forwarded to the Department from county Clare on 6th April last. This was analysed and found to contain an undue proportion of sand and mineral matter, viz., 5·22 per cent. When this meal was prepared for the calves a sediment was deposited containing 70 per cent. of mineral matter, whereas from pure crashed flaxseed there should be no deposit whatever. In this ease the same course of action as in the above cases was open to the buyer. The Department's action in this particular instance was limited under the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuns Act, 1906, to sending report and leaving purchaser to use his discretion as to obtaining redress under Common Law. The Department, under Section 12 of the Fertilisers and Feeding Stuffs Act, 1906, have appointed samplers for the whole of Ireland. They undertake analyses of materials for instructors working under county schemes, and for farmers in certain cases in which there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the materials are of inferior quality. Further, they give technical advice in prosecution cases.