At a special conferring of degrees at the University of Sydney yesterday, the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Science was conferred on Mr. H. G. Belschner.
After gaining his diploma in agriculture at Hawkesbury College, Dr. Belschner graduated as Bachelor of Veterinary Science at the University in 1922. He occupied the position of stock inspector at Nyngan for several years, and then he entered the Department of Agriculture as veterinary officer. Subsequently he was appointed district veterinary officer for the western district, with headquarters at Orange, a position which he held for 11 years. He has recently been transferred to the head office In Sydney.
Dr. Belschner has interested himself for the past 10 years in the veterinary aspect of the sheep blowfly problem, and has contributed considerably to the knowledge of the subject. The thesis submitted to the Faculty of Veterinary Science for the higher degree was entitled "A Review of the Sheep Blow-fly Problem in New South Wales, together with Observations on Fleece Rot and Body Strike in Sheep."
In addition to observations made on the type of sheep susceptible to blowfly strike in the region of the breech, Dr. Belschner has been able to advance materially the knowledge on the condition in wool known as fleece rot and its influence on body strike in sheep. He has studied the conditions under which fleece rot occurs, and has shown that, whilst actually due to bacteria, and brought about as the result of wet conditions, the susceptibility of individual sheep varies a great deal. These susceptibility factors have been ascertained, and shown to depend partly on the conformation of the animal, but largely on the quality of the wool grown by the sheep.
It is considered that the recognition of these factors should be of great assistance to breeders, inasmuch as by eliminating the faults to which Dr. Belschner has drawn attention the occurrence of fleece rot, and hence the occurrence of body strike, may be considerably reduced.