The annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors was opened in Sydney on Thursday, the attendance being, the president (Mr. E. A. Hamilton) said, tne 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 stockowners. He referred to the improvement in the status of veterinary 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 eases 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.
Despite a year of enforced economy, said Mr. G. Valder, Under-Secretary for Agriculture, the Department had gone steadily ahead, which he attributed to the fact that they had a Minister who was well qualified by experience in stock matters, and who took a keen interest in the work. If anything, the Stock Branch had got more than its share of legislation in the past session. The stock inspectors had been put in a better position than ever before. He welcomed these conferences, as instructional meetings of the field staff, that were in the interest of the Department and of the stock and stock owners. Mr. Max Henry and Mr. Sydney Smith spoke in similar strain, both giving the assurance that the Stock Branch desired to help the inspectors in their field work for the stockowners in every possible way.
The president, in conveying a vote of thanks to Mr. Chaffey, said that the Minister had always met them in the fairest possible way in any representations the institute had put before him. The institute had done much to add to the efficiency of the Stock Branch and the inspectors themselves. There were 32 of the stock districts of the State represented in the conference.
At the afternoon session, Mr. W. L. Hindmarsh, veterinary officer of the Stock Branch, lectured on 'Rinderpest and Its Control' (illustrated by specimens), giving the results of his recent experience in West Australia. This was followed by an address by Mr. Roy Stewart on the disorder known as "Swelled Head in Ram-lambs."
The conference of N.S.W. Stock Inspectors considered a number of matters on Tuesday.
It was decided to urge the Minister for Agriculture to place the field staff of the Stock Branch directly under the full control and pay of the chief of the branch. This had reference to the position occupied by stock inspectors in relation to the P.P. Boards.
On the amendment of the P.P. Act bearing on working, large stock and the use of travelling stock or camping reserves, it was decided to ask for the fixation of a penalty for non-registration of teams of carriers and travellers; and that deterrent fees and trespass fees, as fixed by ordinance under the L.G. Act, be chargeable on stock trespassing on travelling stock, camping, or water reserves.
Also, in regard to the standard rabbit-proof fence, that the height be increased from 36in. to 42in., to entitle the owner to a certificate.
It was agreed to wait on the Forestry Commission by deputation to place before it the impracticability of improving T.S. and C.R.'s under the control of P.P. Boards, owing to the restrictions imposed in the authority to ringbark issued by the Forestry Department. It was contended that it was impossible to have a forest reserve and stock reserve in one.
As it is necessary in certain cases of trespass to prove that the land is set apart as a reserve for travelling stock, it was decided to ask the Minister for Agriculture to arrange with the Department of Lands for the re-gazettal of stock reserves.
Mr. W. G. Dowling (Forbes), in "Another Shot at the Rabbit," affirmed that there was only one natural enemy that could deal effectively with the rabbit, and that was man. Such enemies as wild cats, weasels, foxes, hawks, and crows were not sufficiently fecund to deal with rabbits and keep them from denuding the pasture for sheep. Man had proved himself the best enemy, armed with a mattock and shovel and 17 x 1¼ x 42 wire-netting.
Notes by Mr. E. A. Lucas (Holbrook) on "Experiences with Pleuro", in which he referred to inoculation, results and difficulties with bad tails, aroused useful discussion, in which, however, there was a decided diversity of opinion on the respective merits of the seton and syringe in inoculating. Mr. Max Henry, Chief Veterinary Officer, said that bad results were due to an extremely virulent type of organism, plus bad handling. Others differed from this view.
Messrs. J. Faulkner (Narrandera) and L. W. Bucknell (Coonabarabran), respectively, gave observations on "Some Obscure Diseases of Stock" and "The Effect of the Darling Pea on Stock."
Mr. W. B. Gurney. Government Entomologist, gave a lecturette on the "Identification of Sheep Louse." By means of diagrams and micro-slides, he clearly illustrated the difference between the biting sheep louse specified in the Act and other species that might be mistaken for it.
The annual meeting of the Institute of Inspectors of Stock was held in the morning.
The president (Mr. E. A. Hamilton), in his annual report, stated that the membership continued satisfactory, embracing practically all inspectors in the State. There had been one loss, due to the retirement of Mr. W. J. St. Clair (Glen Innes), with a long and honorable record, and another through the death of Mr. D. W. F. Hatten (Bourke), a foundation member.
The executive, acting on instructions from last conference, had prepared an insurance scheme, to provide a retiring allowance to stock inspectors, and in which the Department of Agriculture gave every assistance, but it had fallen through, owing to the opposition of the P.P. Boards' Council of Advice to any scheme of superannuation.
Reference was made with satisfaction to the passage of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, and the inclusion of the president as a member of the administrative board. The balance-sheet showed the finances of the institute to be in a sound position, with a small credit balance.
The following office-bearers were elected:—President, Mr. E. A. Hamilton (Moss Vale) ; vice-presidents, Messrs. H. Copeland (Moree), and R. W. Dawson (Goulburn) ; hon. treasurer, Mr. E. A. Hamilton; council, Messrs. J. Faulkner (Narrandera), F. F. Forster (Gundagai), G. R. Freeman (Singleton), M. T. Little (Hay), W. L. Rees (Inverell), H. M. Warburton (Nyngan), F. H. Whyte (Wagga), C. W. Sabine (Grafton), E. A. Lucas (Holbrook), and W. J. Smith (Young).