The seventh annual conference of the Institute of Stock Inspectors of New South Wales was held in Sydney last week.
Short addresses were delivered by Mr. Max Henry, chief veterinary surgeon, and Mr. Sydney Smith, junr., secretary of the Stock Branch.
During a short presidential address, Mr. Hamilton (who it was announced was about to retire from the department) referred to 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.
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.
During his address at the official opening of the conference, the Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Chaffey) referred to the probable repeal of the old Pastures Protection Act in the near future. It was intended to strike out various unnecessary provisions that were embodied in the Act and to amend it so that people looking after stock matters in the country would be given more freedom of action, the central authority merely exercising general control. He expressed the opinion that a satisfactory measure of this kind would put a stop to the clamor for the abolition of the Pastures Protection Boards that was made by persons who, after all, had not been prepared with anything better.
The retiring president (Mr. Hamilton) was made a life member of the institute, and the following were elected to office for the year:—
President, Mr. J. Faulkner (West Maitland) ; vice-presidents, Messrs. H. Copeland (Moree), and W. L. Reese (Inverell); committee, Messrs. F. H. White (Wagga), C. W. Sabine (Grafton), Mr. M. T. Little (Hay), W. J. Smith (Young), C. O. Furness (Yass), F. Hildred (Jerilderie), E. A. Lucas (Holbrook), H. M. Warburton (Nyngan), L. W. Bucknell (Coonabarabran), and S. J. Quinn (Brewarrina).
A paper by Mr. J. F. McEachran, M.R.C.V.S., upon observation in regard to live stock and their ailments, was eminently practical and was appreciated by the conference. Mr. McEachran said that a new system of formalin treatment of contagious mammitis was being tested, and with most promising results. In one instance thirty affected cows were treated and twenty-six recovered. The habit of bone-chewing among cattle was also referred to at length, and it was mentioned that in a dairying district, where contagious opthalmia existed among the cattle, an owner with a clean herd had kept his cows free from the disease by the use of fly veils.
Mr. J. N. McCulloch, Bombala stock inspector, related some of his experience of black disease of sheep. He recommended the inspectors to follow Dr. Dodd in this matter. Sheepowners in his district were convinced that it was connected with fluke, though in doubt as to whether the germ was carried through water snails. Wherever "black" springs and swamps had been fenced off the owners had not had further sheep losses.
A discussion followed in which Mr. C. O. Furness (Yass) stated that the tendency of owners was to hide the fact that they had the disease in their flocks.
The conference decided to ask the Department of Agriculture to keep stock inspectors posted with the latest available information in regard to this disease, especially as to the inoculation experiments at Gundagai.
Mr. Roy Stewart, B.V.Sc., spoke at some length upon the death of young lambs within a month of birth, such deaths (he said) occurring despite the fact that the mother had a good supply of milk and there was abundance of feed. The disease usually began about the time the lamb itself commenced to feed, and, in his opinion it was caused by some toxic element in the food, which, in brief, was too rich for the lamb. He suggested as a remedy partial starvation, combined with the use of purgatives.
At the conclusion of the conference the stock inspectors visited the veterinary research station at Glenfield.