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THE FARMER.

A Preventive Treatment of the Cattle Plague.

(From Dell's Weekly Hfessenger.)

A gentleman, well-known in England a few years ago, as a breeder of shorthorns, has communicated to us the particulars of a system of preventive treatment, which, in his own herd and in the herds of a few of his neighbours, to whom he mentioned the system, has proved eminently efficacious. The mode of the treatment is founded on the assumed fact that fermentation of the blood is essentially the nature of the disease. The antidote is hyposulphite of soda. The above herd, before the introduction of the plague, consisted of valuable high-bred short-horns and ordinary farm stock. The disease first manifested itself in one of the latter, having been conveyed, it is supposed, on the clothes of a man who had been in contact with infected stock on another farm, where several cows had died. The herdsman then had the directions for treatment furnished to him, but he only treated the pedigree cattle. These, although no provision for their isolation was attempted, all escaped contagion, while every one of the ordinary stock, which had not been subjected to the treatment, died. The alleged specific is—simply hyposulphite of soda—slbs. dissolved in 100 gallons of cold water, which, thus impregnated, should be the ordinary drink of the cattle so long as the danger of infection remains. In order to test in the severest possible way the efficacy of this mode of treatment, a cow which had been subjected to it was placed among a number of infected animals, without receiving the slightest harm, and is now in perfect health. There is no risk of injury, the above gentleman states, attending the use of hyposulphite of soda, according to this prescription, and the preventive may with safety be administered to young calves in their milk. The ordinary price of hyposulphite of soda is about 6d per lb, but wholesale it will not cost more than 20s or 22s per cwt. The manner of application, too, has the merit of simplicity, and the preparation involves but little trouble. Attempts to cure may do harm, by conducing to the spread of infection. Endeavors to prevent disease are not open to this objection. We earnestly recommend a full and fair trial of the treatment.

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THE FARMER. Ashburton Guardian, 8 April 1880

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