The annual conference of the Stock Inspectors' Institute of New South Wales was continued yesterday, when an address was delivered by the president, Mr. C. J. Woollett (Lismore).
Taking as his subject "Quack Veterinary Medicines," the president said that, as fortunes had been made out of stock licks, he felt convinced that stockowners spent uselessly very large sums of money on "cure all" and "shotgun" medicines hawked about the country, especially in dairying districts. If it was not for the gullibility of many stock owners it would not be possible for the pedlars of veterinary medicines to sell their goods.
"Farmers do not seem to appreciate the value of simple remedies," he declared. "In the case of the need for a mild carthartic, [the use of a cheap mixture of Epsom salts, common salt, treacle, and milk is overlooked for some proprietory and mysterious mixture which costs perhaps four or five times more than the ingredients mentioned. There is a good deal of 'old time' superstition still existing in regard to animal ailments and diseases, and until these false ideas are removed by education the farmer will prove an easy victim to the medicine pedlar or traveller, who can tell a good story about the wonderful therapeutic value of his drenches, blisters, and plasters."
In some districts, continued Mr. Woollett, he had seen horses with red rag tied around their necks. The owners had told him that this was a preventive measure against the attack of bot flies. It had been stated that the origin of this false idea was that a hawker had bought heavily of red twill, and owing to a change in fashion at that time was unable to sell it. On another occasion, when discussing the disease of Blackleg, a man told him that the disease never occurred among calves whqre a billy goat ran with them. Seeing that the disease was caused by an organism, it was difficult to understand the relationship between the goat and the disease. The use of garlic as a preventive of this disease was considered satisfactory by many.
Mr. Max Henry, chief veterinary surgeon, said that it was not so much l question of what was in the lick, as what was most suitable for the stock affected. To do the work thoroughly, it was essential to look into each case of deficiency, and if symptoms were showing, to inspect the grazing property and find what was wrong. Cattle displayed Intelligence in the selection of grasses. In South Africa an interesting test was made when a number of grasses were put down. It was found that the cattle selected the grass possessing the greatest amount of phosphate.
Delivering an address on "Recent Advances in Knowledge of Some Important Parasites of Stock," Dr. J. Clunies Ross (Parasitologist to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, University of Sydney), said that on the North Coast and in Queensland the kidney worm was a parasite which was causing great concern among pig owners. Meat inspectors in Queensland had found that the parasite infested the liver of pigs, and as carcases had to be mutilated in search of the parasite, it was having its effect on the export trade. Fortunately, the parasite was not generally known on the south tablelands and southern States.
"As regards sheep ailments," he remarked, I "I know of no more fatal parasite to sheep than the bowel worm. Infection invariably causes rapid death. It is found that this parasite is less prevalent in the south than in the northern States. In the south there is another species which infests the large bowel, and is hard to detect. The university is endeavouring to test the use of certain drugs, suitable for this ailment, in the form of licks, and administering such drugs in water."
Referring to the tapeworm, Dr. Clunies Ross said that they had not been successful in finding a reliable treatment. Recently a Russian authority had found that the sheep tapeworm was unlike the type which infected the dog. It was advisable to keep breeding ewes in a clean paddock.
Dr. G. P. Darnell-Smith (Director of Botanic Gardens), In his address on "Crown Gall in Plants and its Possible Relationship to Cancer," said that various tumours occurred in the plant world as they did in the animal kingdom—some benignant and others malignant. Among the benignant tumours might be placed the swellings that occurred on the roots of leguminous plants, and upon some of the native she-oaks, which aided in the fixation of nitrogen. Tumours of an intermediate type were those that arose from an artificial arrest of the normal flow of sap, and among tumours of a malignant type might be placed crown galls. In their mode of growth they had been shown to resemble the tumour of cancer, inasmuch as there was no definite line of demarcation between the periphery of the tumour and the surrounding tissue.
During the afternoon delegates made a tour of Inspection at Messrs. John Stewart and Son's veterinary hospital, Doonside, Randwick.