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Farmer feeds sweets to ostriches and cattle

One farmer in Trøndelag feeds his ostriches and cattle sweets daily. Experts warn that it can be dangerous for people with allergies.

“If the chocolate includes substances that do not decompose like for example lactose, which is taken up directly by ostriches,” said Ulrik Tutien Brenøe, associate professor at Agricultural University of Norway, to the Norwegian paper Adresseavisen. “This can be dangerous for people with allergies who eat the meat.”

Used sweets for 40 years

Karl Johan Selmer, farmer at Ranheim and foreman in the ostrich club, said he has used sweets as feed for more than 40 years, but he does not want to state how much scrap he buys from the chocolate producer Nidar and gives to his animals.

Selmer states that he feeds his cattle and ostriches according to what he calls a diner system so that the animals can eat what they want.

“The animals regulate this themselves,” Selmer said. “Some feed with baking goods; other used different scrap from production. I use mainly chocolate scrap to the cattle, and a minimal amount to the ostriches.”

Does not state specific amount

Ellen Behrens, head of information at Nidar’s main office in Trondheim, does not want to state the exact amount of how much they sell to Selmer.

“We only deliver scrap to one farmer in the area, and that’s Selmer,” Behrens said to TV 2 Nettavisen. “But we do not want to comment on who much we deliver. The alternative is to destroy this, so if it can be used in a sensible manner, then it’s nice for us too.”

Should be careful

Johan Aurstad, veterinary at the country veterinary service in Trøndelag said to Adresseavisen that he is surprised that it is legal to used sweets as animal feed.

Professor Odd Magne Harstad at the Agricultural University of Norway urges the farmers to be careful.

“We haven’t done any research on this, and the people who wish to start must be very careful,” Harstad said to the paper. “Chocolate is not only chocolate, and it is difficult to determine the fat content.”

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