The seventh annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors of New South Wales was opened yesterday, with an address by the Under-Secretary for Agriculture (Mr. George Valder), who informed the conference that this was the last time in which he should attend such a gathering In his official capacity. He gave a brief review of the work done during the period he had occupied the position of Under-Secretary. As the stock industry was the chief one in the State and in Australia, it was of high importance, and the men who filled the positions of stock inspectors realised that they carried out important duties. He urged them to cooperate with the stockowners as closely as possible, and so make the position one of great utility. Without that cooperation their efforts would lack efficiency. A great deal had been done during the last 10 years, not the least of which was the establishment of the Glenfield veterinary station.
Mr. M. Henry and Mr. S. Smith also delivered short addresses congratulating the Institute on the work already performed, and the former referred specially to the very great interest taken by the inspectors in the short courses of instruction given at Glenfield.
The president of the Institute (Mr. E. A. Hamilton), who, it was announced, was about to retire from the department, spoke of the fact that during the past year a retiring age for members of their staff was enforced, and as a result six of the oldest and most esteemed members—Messrs. Dawson, Cotton, Finch, Mater, Campbell, and Cox had been retired. It was to be regretted that no scheme of superannuation was arranged to recompense them for their services to the community. It should not be forgotten that the comparative immunity from disease enjoyed by the live stock of the State today was largely due to the valuable pioneering work done by the early members of the stock branch of the Department of Agriculture.
A lecture on the responsibilities of a veterinary surgeon was delivered by Mr. Max Henry, M.R.C.V.S., B.V.Sc. He spoke of the passing of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, which gave a definite status to members of the profession; the Stock Diseases Act, and the Noxious Microbes Act, all of which conferred privileges on veterinary surgeons, and imposed obligations upon them. These were enumerated, and the line drawn between the powers in regard to outbreaks of epidemics, and regarding stock export, of surgeons in private practice and those in Government employ, was explained.
Mr. F. Whitehouse delivered an address on live stock breeding, giving a history of the growth of the science from the time of Robert Bakewell, who lived in England, and began his experiments in breeding about the year 1750, down to the present day. He also explained the theories advanced by various schools of breeders. The conference adjourned until this morning.