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Farmer sues alleging dioxin-tainted feed

Published on 26 May, 2009, Last updated at 03:39 GMT

A CO Wexford company is being sued for some €1.9 million damages at the Commercial Court over allegedly selling animal feed containing dioxins to a Co Tyrone-based farmer whose cattle herd later had to be destroyed.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly was told yesterday the defendant company, Millstream Recycling Ltd, is awaiting the outcome of various investigations into the alleged contamination, including by the Garda and PSNI.

Brian Kennedy, for Millstream, of Clohamon Mills, Bunclody, Co Wexford, said his client was taking the matter “very seriously” but would need some additional time to put in a defence.

Mr Justice Kelly admitted to the Commercial Court the action by William Fulton, a farmer, of Victoria Road, Bready, Strabane, Co Tyrone, and his company, WF Fulton Ltd, of the same address, owner and operator of the farm, arising from the supply of “biscuit meal” feed purchased by them from Millstream between May and November 2008.

The judge said Millstream’s request for some time to put in a defence was reasonable. He said there were technical issues to be determined and there remained unresolved issues concerning causation with police investigations continuing.

He directed a statement of claim should be delivered and adjourned the proceedings for further directions to July 20th.

In the action, Mr Fulton and his company allege breach of contract and negligence arising from the sale of the feed. It is claimed Mr Fulton entered into a contract with Millstream for the feed about May 2008 and deliveries of feed were received up to August 2008.

It is claimed Millstream was required to provide feed reasonably fit for the purpose of feeding to livestock and free from contamination or pollutants that would constitute a danger to cattle or render them unfit to enter the human food chain.

The plaintiffs claim the biscuit meal was fed to their animals in October, November and until December 8th, 2008, when it was discovered the meal was contaminated by dioxins. It is claimed the plaintiffs’ animals became contaminated by dioxins to an extent exceeding the maximum limits permitted by law. As a result, the plaintiffs say they were served with an animal movement restriction notice on December 9th, 2008. The plaintiffs say their herd had to be destroyed and they suffered consequential losses of about £1.7 million (€1.9 million).


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