The programme of the stock inspectors' conference was continued in Sydney after the publication of the last week's issue of the "Farmer and Settler." The delegates visited the Botanic Gardens, and in the course of a lecture, Mr. E. Cheel, curator of the National Herbarium, mentioned that Latin names were used for identification so as to communicate the various plant products in an intelligible way to other nationalities. Even the Chinese and Japanese (he said) could understand the Latin terms. Some plants that were cultivated in other countries for their oil content had become acclimatised in Australia, and were regarded as common weeds. These should promptly be eradicated.
The Inspectors were afterwards shown the weeds in actual growth by the Government agrostologist (Mr. J. N. Whillet), who, in a short address, dealt with recent developments in pasture improvement.
At the afternoon session of the conference there was a discussion upon the methods and after-effects of inoculation for pleuro-pneumonia, several members giving their own experiences.
In an address on prickly pear eradication, Mr. H. N. Copeland (Moree) outlined how poison spraying methods had been superceded by antomological control. The cochineal and cactoblastis had attacked the pest with much success, and a new parasite, Monalemia ulkel, had been found in Queensland which bored into the butt of the pear, causing it to rot. It was remarkable how these insects, particularly the cactoblastis, detected the pear, and not infrequently the insects were found in bunches of pear forty miles or more distant from where they were hatched.
The annual dinner was held at night, and, in replying to the toast of the Department of Agriculture the Under-Secretary (Mr. G. D. Ross) said that although much had been accomplished by the department in the past it was as nothing compared with what would be done in the future. The production side of the dairying industry, for example, had been only scratched. The department existed to help the man on the land, who, when in any difficulty, should come to it for advice.
Friday was spent in an inspection of the State Abattoirs, at Homebush, where every phase of the work was seen, from the actual slaughtering to the modern treatment of offals, glands, bones, and horns. Much interest was taken in the measures adopted for the detection of disease in the carcase, and it was mentioned that protection was afforded the consuming public by the employment of three veterinary officers and thirty-six meat inspectors.
Figures quoted by the chief veterinary officer (Mr. G. K. Thorpe) showed that of the 330,153 cattle, 110,767 calves, 176,053 pigs, and 2,073,250 sheep slaughtered at Homebush last year 1026 head of cattle were totally condemned, 5367 partially condemned; 636 calves were condemned, 83 partially; 036 pigs condemned, 1053 partially; 1502 sheep condemned and 2672 partially condemned.
The percentage of cattle totally condemned owing to tuberculosis was .53 and partially 1.40, and pigs .40 and 1.07 respectively. The percentage of condemnation of sheep on account of the presence of caseous lymphadenitis were .03 totally and .16 partially.
It was explained that after being distinctively marked, and slashed in such a way as to lose their commercial value, condemned carcases were sent to the fertiliser treatment works and other converted into artificial manure or stock foods. The process made it impossible for any infection to be left in the product.