The conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors was opened on Tuesday by the Minister for Agriculture. The latter, in his speech, stated that he hoped in regard to the new veterinary research work, that there would be a true spirit of cooperation between the scientist, field staff, and owners of stock. Given that, the research station would prove a boon to the stock-owners of the State. There was scope for it to do more than something for New South Wales alone in solving the problems of diseases, pests, and weeds that were stumbling blocks to the progress of the live stock industries.
Mr. Chaffey gave a word of advice, too, on the administration of the Stock Acts. The objective should not be to drive or coerce, but to lead and to help those in trouble with their stock. Let them be lenient with the man who slipped for the first time through not being cognisant of the law, but it was their duty to stand right up to the man who wanted to pirate on fellow graziers.
As the link between the department and the stockowners, a great duty devolved upon the stock inspectors, the Under-Secretary for Agriculture (Mr. Valder) impressed upon members, and for this reason he would like to see every inspector attend these conferences to develop the spirit of mutual help and coordination in their work. Mr. Valder remarked that he was leaving for Queensland to attend a conference on the greatest of all weed pests—the prickly pear.
The president (Mr. E. H. Hamilton): Most of the cattle are being fed on prickly pear in my district. In some parts, every farmer is boiling pear, so do not be too hard on it.
Some acceptable information in regard to the new Brands Act was given by Mr. Sydney Smith, jun., of the Stock Branch, who explained the absence of the Chief Inspector of Stock, who was on sick-leave. There would be, he said, a further suspension of the provisions of the Act in respect of the positions in branding until contemplated amendment of the Act was effected. It had been found impracticable to acknowledge applications received for brands, of which there were about 50,000 out of the 142,000 on the old register. About 6000 of these brands would be gazetted this month, and thereafter at the rate of 10,000 a month.
The lines upon which the cooperation of the inspectors with the Glenfield Station was desirable were elaborated by Dr. H. R. Seddon, the director. The sphere of activities of the station, he said, included the investigation of all animal diseases, especially those due to the effect of feeding on poisonous or supposed poisonous plants, diagnosis of disease specimens, the gathering of information such as the occurrence and prevalence of disease in various parts of the State, and the establishment of a museum. The station and the inspectors were striving in the one cause—the health of the live stock of the State.