STOCK Inspectors attending their annual conference in Sydney spent a very interesting afternoon last week at the Randwick laboratory and experiment station of the Biological Institute of Australasia Ltd., where a demonstration of surgical work was given by Mr. Roy Stewart, veterinary surgeon. It included the castration of a colt, removal of tumors from a dog, and correcting a deformity in a colt's leg.
The Biological Institute performs a valuable and useful service to stock-owners in helping them to combat diseases and ailments, which, if allowed to go unchecked, would exact a terrific toll on the flocks and herds of the State.
Of particular interest is the treatment for black disease in sheep—a disease causing the loss of 15 to 20 per cent. of prime young lambs on country where black disease exists, unless inoculation is carried out.
The Biological Institute has sold 1,500,000 doses of this vaccine since last September and claims that complete resistance is built up in four or five days. Results in various parts of the State provide proof of the safety and potency of this vaccine, which has shorn black disease of its terrors.
The Biological Institute also prepares an anthrax vaccine, for which the Crown Agents in London are among its biggest clients. All anthrax vaccine used in Palestine is supplied by the Institute.
Indicative of the high value placed on its products, the firm recently received a cable from a well-known racehorse trainer in England for two tins of leg dressing, which costs 10/- a tin. Sent by air mail, the freight would have been £10/16/6, but the trainer insisted on sufficient for immediate use being sent and the balance by ordinary mail.
The Institute turns out 3,000,000 doses of different biologicals a year. Apart from black disease in sheep, treatment is available for blackleg in cattle, mammitis, pleuro-pneumonia, anthrax, strangles and fowl pox. Nearly every horse sent to India is inoculated with "Bio" anti-strangles and anti-influenza vaccines, while there is also a limited output of antogenous vaccine for doctor's use.
In addition to the vaccines and biologics, produced at Randwick, veterinary remedies are manufactured at Ruchcutters Bay and Mr. Stewart carries on a large professional business, being veterinary surgeon to the A.J.C.
The laboratory carries on research work into all diseases of stock, particularly epidemic and epizootic diseases and overtures have been made to a highly skilled research officer, whose duties will be confined purely to research. The results of such work are put into the products the firm offers the public.
Three years ago, a staff of three (including a bacteriological director from the Lister Institute, London) was able to cope with the demands on the Institute's laboratory. To-day it is the largest laboratory specialising in veterinary work in the southern hemisphere. In it there are no fewer than fourteen person employed and very often it is difficult to supply the requirements of farmers. This business has been built up on the sheer merit of the firm's product, as no travellers are engaged.
WOOL 10-in. long was taken from a wether 2½-yrs. old owned by Dr. Osborne, of Benangaroo, Jugiong, and missing for more than two years after being shorn as a lamb. The fleece weighted 22-lb when shorn, without the locks.