The inaugural meeting and conference of the Institute of Pastures Protection Board officials was opened today in the King's Hall, Hunter street, by Mr. Valder, Director of Agriculture, in the absence of the Minister. Of the 60-odd stock Inspectors in the State over 40 were in attendance.
Prior to the opening ceremony the inspectors elected Mr. G. R. Brett (Bathurst) chairman of the morning session, and proceeded to formally establish the existence of the Institute. It was resolved, on the motion of Mr. E. A. Lucas (Nyngan), seconded by Mr. H. E. Palmer (Gundagai):—
That, for the better working of the Pastures Protection Act, and in the interests of the officials employed under the Act, an association be formed.
At 11 o'clock Mr. Valder said he was extremely sorry to have to apologise for the absence of the Minister, who was prevented by a matter of extreme importance. So far from the P.P. Board officials having to show gratitude to the department, the position was the other way about. It was the department that had to rely on the good offices of the board's officials for their assistance.
There were many diseases of stock, he said, which had not been specifically studied, and now that the Government had acquired an an area of land for a stock farm he hoped that good results would be obtained. A competent staff would be attached to the farm and its success would depend in large measure on the cooperation received from the P.P. Board officials in forwarding the specimens and helping the staff to determine the volume of diseases and the best way of treating them.
A paper on imported stock and the quarantine laws governing their introduction was read by Mr. S. T. D. Symons, Chief Inspector of Stock.
Mr. W. W. Froggatt. F.L.S., Government Entomologist, contributed a paper on the external parasites of stock. His object, he said, was to discuss the chief insect pests that attack stock, the damage they do, their life history, and the most approved methods of checking them. He considered that the stock authorities were to be congratulated on the fact that Australia was the only sheep country the world that had stamped out sheep scab, while the ox warble fly had been kept of the country altogether by the exercise of sound quarantine regulations.
Reference was made to the maggot flies, and to the common native blow files that have learnt the habit of blowing live wool, and thus caused immense losses to the sheep industry.