The annual conference of the Institute of Inspectors of Stock was continued yesterday, when a lecture on "Tuberculin Testing with Special Reference to the Intradermal and Ophthalmic Methods" was given by Mr. W. Webster (Department of Agriculture).
Mr. Webster contended that the ease with which cattle were handled for test and injections was generally governed by the nature of the owner. The worst cattle he had to deal with were those at a mental home.
The intradermal test, he continued, consisted of an injection of tuberculin into the deep layers of the skin, and observation whether there was a definite reaction in the form of swelling, heat, and tenderness round the site of the injection. The occurrence of swelling, heat, and tenderness was definite evidence of a positive reaction. By this test he had handled 500 head of cattle under ideal conditions.
"Although the ophthalmic test has been discontinued," he added. "I think it could be used with great success in conjunction with the intradermal test, when one has found a reaction or a suspicious case."
In an address on "Some Nutritional Problems Affecting Stock Inspectors," Mr. O. J. Sanderson (Department of Agriculture) stated that during the past 30 years pastures, generally, had deteriorated to a great extent. While one of the greatest problems was dealing with poisonous plants, there was a large increase in the amount of indigestible plants, which could not be termed poisonous, yet could cause death to stock. The department was dealing with no fewer than 72 known poisonous plants.
"In investigating deaths, illness, or sub-normal health," he declared, "a stock inspector must not believe any plant is innocuous until he has proof that it Is not harmful. It is claimed that the soil of Victoria has been depleted to the extent of 360,000 tons of phosphoric acid during the last 60 years through the removal of phosphates in the exported meat, milk, and other animal products, and that about 2,000,000 tons of superphosphate are required to correct the adverse balance."
Mr. Webster said that owing to the constant removal of stock the movement of the carriers of pleuro-pneumonla was pronounced The unfortunate part of the disease was that it was so hard to diagnose. Cows could look comparatively normal, and a high temperature would be the only symptom. The normal animal did not appear to use the whole of the lungs, unless after any active movements, and noises were generally hard to detect The congestion of the lungs set in with remarkable rapidity, and before the animal showed any definite signs of sickness. He generally found that in pleuro-pneumonla cases in the county of Cumberland the first symptom could only be located by taking the temperature of all the animals in the herd.
Mr. Ellis (Urana) : Could we get any information regarding an outbreak of pleuro-pneumonla among sheep?
Mr. Max Henry (chief veterinary surgeon): A great deal of pneumonia among sheep is brought about by the exposure of shorn sheep. As far as control is concerned, the only thing to do is to keep the sick animals away from the others.
The president stated that when sheep suffered from pleuro-pneumonla the owner should take no notice of neighbours who advised drenching the animals. The only thing to do was to leave the sick sheep near a waterhole and feed, and allow them to recover themselves.
The conference will conclude today, when the delegates will spend the whole of the day on a tour of inspection at the Glenfield Veterinary Research Station.