The annual conference of the Institute of stock Inspectors of New South Wales was continued after last week's issue of the "Farmer and Settler" went to press.
The Chief Inspector of Stock (Mr. S. T. D. Symons) informed the conference that he had recommended to the Minister that a conference be convened to consider the many phases of the rabbit problem. Such a conference (he said) would result in the collection of much valuable information, which could influence the Government in taking certain action.
Mr. C. J. Fielder (Armidale) referred to the difficulty experienced in his district of pigs trespassing on the reserves. He said that as pigs were not included as stock under the Pastures Protection Act, they could not be impounded. He proposed, and it was agreed, to recommend that the act be amended to provide that pigs be classed as stock under the act for impounding purposes only. Another proposal by Mr. Fielder that the Department of Agriculture be asked to bring into operation a scale of charges upon stock trespassing on reserves was also endorsed.
Mr. C. R. Brett moved that an endeavour be made to have all public watering places outside municipal and village areas placed under the exclusive control of Pastures Protection Boards, and that they be termed watering reserves. Stock-owners (Mr. Brett said) were paying an extra rate on travelling stock to form the reserves improvement fund, and, in addition, were being charged for water at permanent watering places leased by shire councils. The travelling fee should cover both pasture and water. The motion was adopted unanimously.
The regulations as to the size and position of brands under the new Brands Act were discussed at length. The chief objections raised were against the 2-in. maximum length and the thigh as the first position in cattle branding.
The president said that it would be murderous to compel a man to put a 3-in. brand on calves, though it was a fair thing on mature cattle.
Several members stated that cattle-men that had objected to the thigh position were quite in favor of it after trial.
Mr. S. Edwards (Lismore) moved that the old order of positions of branding be reverted to, exclusive of the ribs. This was rejected by a large majority.
On the motion of Mr. Copeland (Moree), it was unanimously decided to recommend that a regulation be brought in under the act to provide that the width of the face of the brands be not less than 3-in. This was regarded as more important than either size or position. It was also decided to recommend that the size of the brands be not less than 2-in. or more than 3-in.
A suggestion by Mr. W. J. Smith (Young), that where Crown land was made available for settlement the person to whom the land was granted be supplied with sufficient wire-netting to enclose the land was rejected, the majority of the delegates taking the view that the provision made for the supply of netting was wide enough to meet the existing circumstances.
Mr. V. H. Pillinger (Carcoar) moved that provision be made for the registration of a scheme of cattle earmarks. After discussion, this was agreed to on the understanding that it be arranged on a district basis. It was stated that such a system would lessen the damage to hides by the elimination of numerous additional brands.
On the motion of Mr. W. L. Rees (Inverell) it was decided to recommend that, in view of the depredations of wild dogs, dog-proof netting be supplied on similar terms to those on which ordinary netting is made available.
Several technical addresses were delivered during the conference, and the chairman of the Tick Board of Control (Mr. C. J. Sanderson) outlined the difficulties of the work that aimed at tick extirpation on the North Coast. He said that the tick problem was the most serious one that stock-owners of the State had to contend with. It had been proved that ticks would develop in districts that formerly were supposed to be immune, and he asked the inspectors to be specially vigilant in detecting the presence of ticks in districts were they were not known to exist.