The annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors was opened In the Education Building yesterday morning, the attendance being, the president (Mr. E. A. Hamilton) said, the largest they had ever had. There were present the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. F. A. Chaffey, M.L.A.), the Under-secretary for Agriculture (Mr. George Valder), the Chief Veterinary Officer (Mr. Max Henry. M.R.C.V.S.), and Mr. S. T. D. Symons, M.R.C.V.S., late Chief Inspector of Stock.
Mr. Chaffey, in declaring the conference open, spoke of the valuable results achieved by their deliberations on previous occasions. Stock officers from many of the remote parts of the State were brought into intimate touch with headquarters, the resulting improvement in cooperation and coordination making for harmony in the working of the department, with consequent benefit to stock-owners. He referred to the improvement in the status of veterlnary surgeons and the greater efficiency of those connected with administration of stock affairs through the passage of the Veterinary Surgeons Act. Objections to the inclusion of stock inspectors in that Act were met by the fact that those who passed an examination for admission were more competent than those not registered, and their status and authority in stock cases before the courts were strengthened. Everything now augured well for the work of the board which had been appointed.
Mr. Chaffey also referred to the passage of the Stock Diseases Act, which permitted officers of the department to take immediate action to control any outbreak of stock disease, and to stock brand registration. The veterinary research station at Glenfield had more than justified its establishment by the work already accomplished. Referring to suggestions that had been made for the abolition of the P.P. Board, Mr. Chaffey declared that people need not come to him with such proposals. "I will not waste my time discussing it," said the Minister. "Certain amendments of our existing law are desirable and necessary, no doubt. Conditions vary throughout the State, but why should the whole organisation which has rendered such valuable service to stock-owners be wiped out because of complaints in some parts of the State? The amendment of the P.P. Act to adjust these difficulties will be based on the practical experience of officers in conjunction with suggestions of the people affected, but we must maintain the proper ideals of administration as they affect the whole State." (Applause.) He hoped to introduce the Horse Breeding Bill next session.
Mr. Valder referred to the fine record of work made by the Stock Branch despite the strict economy which had been enforced. During the year they had had to face many serious outbreaks of disease, including red-water, anthrax, and rinderpest. The now Chief Veterinary Officer, Mr. Max Henry, had assumed control at a difficult period, but there was great promise of success.
Mr. Max Henry commended such conferences as a means of bridging the gap between the head office and the country inspectors. He advocated the more frequent visits of headquarters' officers to the country in order to reach a better understanding.
During the afternoon session lectures were given by Mr. W. L. Hindmarsh, B.V.Sc, on "Rinderpest and Its Control," and by Mr. R. Stewart, B.V.Sc, on a disease in lambs.