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5 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald

GENTLEMEN,-I trust you will allow me a space in your columns, to draw the attention of the residents in this district to the very serious enemy to sheep-farming which is now spreading in Gundagai and its immediate neighbourhood. I allude to the plant or shrub commonly known in the colony as " the Bathurst Burr.'' What its botanical name may be I am not aware, but it probably belongs to the numerous family of spurgeworts, (Euphor- biaceƦ), and I am induced to believe that it is not a native of the colony, but that it has been introduced from South America. It is said only to have appeared here within the last two years. If prompt measures be taken it could soon be prevented from spreading. I observed in the Herald some little time since, that the Government had laid out a sum of money in de- stroying the Scotch thistle in the vicinity of Picton. Would they not extend a like boon to us in the present case if the matter was re- presented to the proper authorities ? Is it not

the duly of the Crown Land Commissioners to

see to an evil which, if not nipped in the bud,

will turn this fine sheep country into a worth-

less waste ? We all know the horrors of a dry

season, the injury which may be done in a few days days by catarrh, scab, &c. Be warned, ere it is too late ye sheep-owners. You have now

another enemy marching upon you, and one which is inferior to none of those enumerated; it is one which will render your wools fit for

nothing but the fire. Be not apathetic, but

stop the spread of the evil at once. Twenty

pounds would now go a great way toward

getting rid of the plants. Do nothing for a

year or two, and you will have to expend hun-

dreds, or desert your runs. The burr is the

fruit of the plant, which is about twice the

size of duckshot, of an oval shape, and thickly   covered with hooked spires, which take such

firm hold of the wool, that it is utterly impos-   sible to remove them either by the hand or by the use of machinery. I also observe that the

Scotch thistle is growing in large quanities,

both along the Jugung Creek and at the

of the Mooney Monney Ranges on the Gun- dagai side - the variegated leaved variety, which is generally called the Scotch thistle in this colony, is there ; and also the plain-leaved sort, which ts the true Scotch thistle. These plants are more likely to injure the agricult- rist than the stock-holder ; but even to him they must do harm. In the sister colony of Van Diemen's Land, the thistle spread to such an alarming extent that the legislative Council

of that place considered it necessary to pass an Act, which subjects any farmer to a heavy

penalty who suffers the thistle to grow on his land.

I remain,

Gentlemen,

Your most obedient servant

sorchos eteros.

Murrumbidgee River, March 24.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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