The annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors was held in Sydney last week. The importance of science to the live stock industry was emphasised by the Minister for Agriculture, who opened the conference.
Mr. E. A. Hamilton; (Moss Vale), president of the Institute, congratulated the Minister and the department on the establishment of the Glenfield veterinary research station.
Mr. Chaffey referred to this station as a most important forward move, which, with the assistance of stock inspectors, would prove to be a boon to the stockowners of the State, and would also help to solve the stock problems of Australia. The object of the conference, Mr. Chaffey said, was to secure unanimity in the administration of the Stock Acts, He counselled the exercise of tact by inspectors, and the avoidance of harsh enforcements of regulations, where, through ignorance or adverse conditions the owner did not comply with all requirements. On the other hand, the "pirates" should not be spared. An effort would be made to give the conference an opportunity of placing its decisions before the department.
Regret was expressed by the president at the unavoidable absence through illness of Mr. S. T. D. Symons, M.R.C.V.S., chief inspector of stock.
Mr. George Valder, Under-Secretary and Director of Agriculture, informed the conference of the efforts which were being made to combat the blowfly pest, which had proved a tremendous task.
Mr. Sydney Smith, Jnr, (stock branch) stated, in regard to the Registration of Stock Brands Act, that the present position was that the owner could brand his stock in accordance with the Act of 1901. The Minister would probably give a decision on this vexed question within the next few days, and an amendment would be made to the Act fixing the positions for branding and the size of brands. Of 140,000 owners of brands on the departmental books only about 50,000 had applied for reregistration. He forecasted the introduction of a new Pastures Protection Bill at the next session of the State Parliament.
Mr. M. Henry, M.R.C.V.S., of the stock branch, referred to the Heslop tests in the treatment of pleuro-pneumonia, which he believed would prove most beneficial in districts where this disease took the heaviest toll of stock.
Dr. H. R. Seddon, D.V.Sc., director of the veterinary pathological research station at Glenfield, in a lecture based on the necessity for and results of co-operation between the stock inspectors and the station, explained that the objectives of the station were the investigation or animal diseases, the diagnosis of disease in the specimens submitted and the gathering of information relating to the occurrence and prevalence of diseases in stock in various parts of the State. The activities of the station staff would be guided to a large extent by the work of inspectors in forwarding specimens and information. Later the specimens would be assembled in a museum at the station.
For preserving specimens he advised a mixture of 5 per cent. formalin and water, with an equal volume of methylated spirits. For larger specimens, to be sealed in tins, a weaker mixture —2½ per cent formalin—would suffice. For short transit formalin-prepared cloth might be used. From frozen specimens received he was satisfied that for bacteriological purposes this method of treating the specimens would prove valuable.
Mr. J. F. M'Eachran, M.R.C.V.S., addressed conference on cattle diseases, detailing effective methods of treatment. He warned those present against the danger of pleuro-pneumonia cases of cattle appearing to recover and being retained in herds, although actually still diseased. Every case of pneumonia should be treated as contagious pleuro-pneumonia.
Complaint was made by several members of conference that bulls sold at the Royal Show sales were found later to be diseased. The testing of all stock presented at these sales was advocated.
Mr. F. F. Foster (Gundagai) read a paper on inoculation for pleuro, the necessity for cleanliness, and the use of fresh virus being urged.
A motion was carried, recommending that all stud bulls be sold subject to tuberculin test. It was stated that action on the lines suggested was urgently necessary, cases being mentioned in which valuable animals purchased were found on inspection to be diseased.
The following motions were carried:
That any stock inspector who wishes may be appointed honorary inspector under the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that stock inspectors in the western division be allowed to remove into a cooler climate after three years' service if required positions become available; that P. P. Boards requiring to do so be empowered to expend moneys for the purpose of establishing pounds where necessary for the purpose of keeping loose and straying stock off the reserves under their control, and where necessary to have power to subsidise a poundkeeper.
The election of officers resulted :— President, Mr. E. A. Hamilton (Moss Vale); vice-presidents: Messrs. R. W. Dawson (Goulburn), H. Copeland (Moree); Council: Messrs. M. T. Little (Hay), F. H. Whyte (Wagga), W. L. Rees (Inverell), T. J. Madden (Mudgee) G. R. Freeman (Singleton), E. Reuss (Coonamble), E. J. Quinn (Mossgiel), J. Faulkner (Narrandera), H. M. Warburton (Pilliga), and F. F. Forster (Gundagai).