A large number of stock inspectors, secretaries, and rabbit inspectors attended the first conference of the Institute of P.P. Board Officials of New South Wales, which opened at King's Hall yesterday. Mr. C. R. Brett, of Bathurst, presided.
The following motion was carried unanimously, upon the motion of Mr. R. W. Dawson (Goulburn), seconded by Mr. J. A. T. Rochfort (Gundagai):—"That this institute, in conference assembled, places on record its unswerving loyalty to the cause of Great Britain and her Allies, its firm belief in the righteousness of the cause, and its unwavering determination to in every way possible assist in upholding the hands of those in authority in prosecuting the war until a victorious peace is assured."
In the absence of the Minister for Agriculture, Mr. W. C. Grahame, who was precluded from attending, the conference was opened by the Under-Secretary to the Department of Agriculture, Mr. G. Valder, who congratulated the inspectors and secretaties upon holding a conference. The Inspectors had rendered the department invaluable assistance in the steps taken to eradicate stock diseases, and he hoped it would not be long before the veterinary establishment now being equipped would be opened by the Government. For the benefit of stock-breeding he would like to see wealthy stockowners come forward with offers of financial assistance respecting the veterlnary establishment.
The Chief Inspector of Stock and Chief Quarantlne Officer Mr S. T. D. Symons M.R.C.V.S., in the course of a highly interesting lecture, dealing with imported stock and quarantine laws governing their introduction traced the foundation of the sheep industry in Australia, and said present day records indicated that sheep coming not only from the United Kingdom, but from America, France Spain, and other countries were mostly merinos. Thoroughbreds headed the list so far as horses were concerned, and regarding cattle Shorthorns and Herefords were much in excess of other breeds although a fair number of Devons had been from time to time imported. The first gazetted quarantine area was at Surry Hills, and it was opened on account of an outbreak of scab and catarrh among sheep. In course of time the area was moved to Randwick. It was closed for a time, and one opened at Summer Hill. There were also areas set apart for imported Victorian and Tasmanian sheep at Albury and Moama. Cattle were first quarantined at Garden Island then at Shark Island. Bradley's Head was then utilised as an animal quarantine. The land at Athol was later on used for the purpose of laying out Taronga Park Zoological Gardens and quarantine space was afforded at Moore Park on the site of the old Zoo. The Federal Government had purchased a block of land at Abbotsford on Hen and Chickens Bay, and it was hoped to occupy this in April of this year. Animals would be transferred from ships to the area by water. The quarters at Abbotsford were a big improvement and there was room for extension of necessary. It was thought that on account of the opening of the Panama Canal Sydney would be largely the first port of call for ships arriving in Australia. Therefore animals for other States would be quarantined here, it was thought. Mr Symons traced the various diseases in stock which had been introduced and the steps taken to eradicate them.
Mr. W. Froggatt, F.L.S., Government Etomologist lecturing upon external parasites of stock, explained that Australia was the only country that had stamped out sheep scab. Ox warble had never entered Australia owing to our sound quarantine stock regulations. The stock branches of Australia and New South Wales in particular, were to be congratulated on the fact that Australia was the only sheep country in the world that had stamped out sheep scab. (Cheers.) Referring to birds, he said the starling was one of the most destructive birds introduced to Australia. It did not eat blow flies or maggots, but did eat young swallows and their eggs, and would be soon attacking wheat. He was a friend of the crow. In the west and north-west they destroyed and ate the blowfly.
Mr. G. R. Freeman (Singleton) said starlings had cleared up patches affected by the grasshopper recently on the Upper Hunter.
The conference will be continued to-day at 10 am.