Page images
PDF
EPUB

The history of dairying in the United States and other countries is replete with instances where valuable herds have been ruined through the introduction of tubercular animals, while the infection of contagious abortion and other more acute transmissible diseases has often been introduced in this manner and spread over large areas with great losses to the industry.

The need for protection against these dangers has led to the formation in most countries of governmental agencies to safeguard the health of livestock and thus conserve this valuable source of food, clothing, and money. Livestock sanitary police organizations of varying forms and efficiency are now found in most countries where the animal industry has been developed to an extent that it has become an important industry. The object of such organizations usually is threefold: To protect domestic livestock from foreign contagion, to prevent the spread of animal diseases within the country, and to eradicate such diseases as may be present. These are fundamental functions, essential for the protection and prosperity of every country engaged in the production of dairy products and meat.

Nations are dependent on each other to a large degree in the matter of preventing the spread of animal diseases from one country to another and it is gratifying that with the increase of commerce in animals and their products, they are realizing this more fully and are being drawn closer together by ties of common interests; but there is not yet the cooperation that there should be in the interests of all concerned. In order to minimize the difficulties of commerce and afford more protection to livestock owners in all countries there should be a mutual understanding and a common basis of action for the exclusion of animal diseases and, as far as practicable, for controlling and eradicating contagious and infectious diseases within a country. There can be no doubt of the mutual advantages that would come from closer cooperation in these matters. With the present development of international livestock trade and the prevalence of destructive animal diseases in various parts of the world, it is suggested that careful consideration should be given to the extent to which uniform laws and regulations by the various countries are feasible, the principal features that should be covered by laws and regulations, the form of organization best adapted to administer them, and, in general, the method for conducting a cooperative protective veterinary service that can be recognized and respected by other countries.

T'he different conditions that exist in different countries would probably make absolutely uniform regulations for all countries impracticable and perhaps impossible. It should be possible, however, to have uniformity in essential fundamental features and to have cooperation in formulating and administering regulations and exchanging information. A start in this direction was made as early as 1912, when the South American countries which participated in a conference at Montevideo joined in the preparation of a form of international agreement proposed for adoption by the various South American Governments. It seems that such a plan might be extended with benefit to all concerned to include all countries engaged in exporting and importing livestock. This is a matter of growing importance with the increase of international commerce in livestock and the increasing prevalence of disease in some countries.

FUNDAMENTAL FEATURES.

In any international plan which might be adopted, fundamentals are essential for efficient operation. Among the fundamentals which deserve special consideration are the following:

Each country, engaged in domestic and foreign commerce in animals and their products, or that wishes to engage in such commerce with other countries, should establish and organize a competent veterinary sanitary service. This service should include laboratories equipped for research work and the most competent research workers should be employed. A country which under present conditions fails to provide such a veterinary service and which continues to receive livestock indiscriminately from other countries would have no right to expect that its animals would be accepted in a country which is endeavoring to protect and foster its own animal industry.

Laws should be carefully framed with the object of preventing the spread of contagious diseases within the country, preventing the introduction of infection from abroad, and preventing the transinission of infection to other countries.

Regulations promulgated under the laws should require that all prospective importers secure permits in advance from the proper government authorities of the country to which animals are to be shipped. Suitable quarantine stations should be provided at ports of entry. Imported animals should be inspected by competent veterinarians immediately on arrival and under some circumstances detained in quarantine for a specified time as occasion requires.

The principal measures in the case of animals for export should be inspection, the administering of certain tests when required, and certification in compliance with the requirements of importing countries, giving official assurance that the animals are free from contagious diseases and have not been exposed within a specified time.

In order that tests such as the tuberculin and mallein tests be conducted by competent persons, only representatives of the government or veterinarians approved by the national livestock authorities should be authorized to conduct them and the charts and other papers should accompany the shipment to destination and be delivered to the proper authorities.

The veterinary service of each country should keep constantly in touch with its disease situation by making thorough surveys at regular intervals to ascertain what contagious diseases of animals and what harmful animal parasites are present in the country and the regions where they exist.

In order to secure the safe, humane transport of animals from one country to another, especially by sea, there should be a uniform standard of sanitation, vessel fittings, and care of animals while in transit.

The livestock sanitary authorities of each country should be provided with sufficient funds and authority to act promptly in controlling or eradicating outbreaks of contagious diseases, especially destructive foreign diseases, when they occur.

The principal features mentioned are already in effect to a greater or less extent in some countries, especially those where the stock-raising industry has been developed. A further step which seems very desirable in view of the increased danger of disseminating disease with the development of international trade in animals, is the establishment of a uniform cooperative international system for an interchange of official information at regular intervals in regard to animal health, the diseases and parasites that exist, the geographical areas involved, and the practices in vogue in regard to importing livestock.

The authorities of a country charged with the protection of such an enormous and intricate industry as the dairy industry would be derelict if they allowed the importation of animals from a country before they were in possession of reliable information as to the health of the livestock in that country. Each country should know also from what countries livestock is being received by other countries and what measures are employed to prevent the dissemination of disease. Canada could not be expected to accept cattle from the United States if the United States admits cattle from a country from which Canada is unwilling to permit importations.

With a veterinary organization in each country to keep in touch with the livestock situation and authorized to keep other countries informed, it could be decided more intelligently from which countries it would be safe to admit livestock. Possibly with such accurate information it would be possible to have more liberal regulations and more freedom of commerce in livestock and animal products than now prevails.

The plan should also include an exchange of information as to whether any efforts are made to control or eradicate disease, the methods employed, and the progress made. The lines of research work conducted and the results would also be of interest to cooperators in the plan. This exchange of information could be conducted directly between different countries, but it would seem more desirable to have it collected and sent out by some central agency, as, for instance, the International Institute of Agriculture at Rome.

The exchange of reliable official information is becoming more and more important with the present rapid development of the livestock industry and the increase of commerce in animals and their products between the different countries of the world. It is time that some organized effort be made to reach an understanding between the different countries interested instead of placing barrier after barrier through regulations to guard against possibilities of infection. Sometimes regulations which tend to hamper or curtail trade could be avoided if importing countries were in possession of more information in regard to the animal health status of foreign countries.

The form and details of the plan suggested might very well be discussed in this conference. The dairy interests of the world represented here are suitably organized to make a move in the direction indicated, and financially they are more deeply involved in international commerce in valuable breeding stock than any other branch of the livestock industry. No doubt such a movement would be welcomed and supported by the entire livestock industries of countries engaged extensively in livestock and dairy pursuits. The United States Bureau of Animal Industry has given some consideration to this matter and would welcome the appointment of a commission consisting of representatives from livestock and dairy countries to consider the matter, to reach an understanding and formulate tentative regulations that would be generally acceptable and which might serve as a model for the different countries which might wish to join in the plan. Such a draft of regulations, in my judgment, should be as brief and simple as practicable and should 'deal with what are regarded as fundamentals or essentials, leaving details to be developed according to local conditions in the various countries.

PRESENT REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES.

Excellent laws and regulations are already in force in some countries. I will not attempt to discuss the regulations of the various countries, but will outline briefly the regulations now in effect in the United States. These are not offered as a model for other countries or as being superior to those adopted by other governments, but merely as information concerning the means that have been found feasible and effective in one country under the conditions existing there.

The regulations of the United States are based on national laws which provide, in brief, that livestock and their products may not be imported except under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture and that animals and meat food products may not be shipped from one State to another except under such regulations. The law also provides for the inspection of livestock and animal products for export.

Under these laws four principal sets of regulations have been issued: (1) Those governing the importation of animals, animal byproducts, hay, forage, etc.; (2) those governing the exportation of animals; (3) those governing the movement of animals from one State to another and providing for the eradication of contagious discases; and (4) the meat-inspection regulations, which apply to meats for domestic use, for export and for those imported.

The regulations governing the importation of animals apply especially to horses, cattle, sheep, other ruminants, and swine. All such animals upon arrival are subjected to careful veterinary inspec tion, including, when deemed necessary, certain recognized tests, and most species are detained in quarantine for a sufficient period to determine their freedom from disease. Certificates and affidavits are required giving information relative to the absence of contagious diseases in the region of origin. A record of the tuberculin test is required for cattle intended for dairy or breeding purposes.

The export regulations provide for inspection tests and certification whenever required by the country of destination. They also provide certain specifications for the safe, humane transportation of animals carried by rail or by ocean steamers.

General regulations are in effect governing the interstate movement of livestock. These are supplemented by separate specific regulations with regard to certain diseases, such as Texas fever, scabies of sheep, scabies of cattle, hog cholera, dourine, and tuberculosis. The object is to prevent the spread of these diseases from one part of the country to another through the movement of infected animals and stock cars. In the case of parasitic diseases, such as Texas fever and scabies, inspection, dipping, and certification of animals from an infected region are required with the object of eradication as well as a condition of shipment. Cattle from an area quarantined on account of Texas fever tick in festation are allowed to be shipped in quarantine to specified market centers for immediate slaughter.

At present the United States maintains at Boston, New York, and Baltimore quarantine stations for import livestock thoroughly equipped to accommodate as many as 1,000 cattle at a time. Inspection of import livestock is also conducted at 2 additional Atlantic coast ports, 2 Gulf, and 11 Pacific coast ports, and at 59 Canadian and 10 Mexican border ports. Our regulations are not unduly burdensome under existing conditions and they have proved effectual. Foreign contagions, such as foot - and - mouth disease, contagious pleuro-pneumonia, rinderpest, African horse sickness, infectious lymphangitis, mal de caderas, and nagana have not gained access to this country in the bodies of imported animals since the Bureau of Animal Industry was established in 1884.

In several instances destructive foreign diseases have been detected in animals on arrival at our ports of entry, but they have been prevented from reaching our herds and flocks.

The expense of maintaining a national livestock organization such as the United States Bureau of Animal Industry is small compared with its value in protecting a large industry against its deadly enemies-animal diseases; in fostering the industry through helpful suggestions and demonstrations in farm sanitation and the breeding, feeding, and care of animals; in promoting export trade; in studying the perplexing problems that confront farmers and dairymen; in guarding the public health, and in the confidence its existence and activities inspire in those who are directly and indirectly interested in the livestock and dairy business.

In conclusion, I would urge the establishment of livestock police organizations in countries that are not already supplied with this service, and I desire to emphasize the desirability of action looking to an international plan for an exchange of official information in regard to the status of animal health, and securing the adoption of uniform national regulations so far as practicable governing the exportation and importation of domestic animals and the handling of animal diseases.

Chairman Larson. It is appropriate that the honorary chairman introduce the next speaker.

Honorary Chairman WALLACE. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen: It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. B. M. Anderson, jr., economist, Chase National Bank, of New York City. The subject on which he will address you is, “ Agriculture and dairying in the world's economic equilibrium.” I take peculiar pleasure in making this introduction because this subject of economics has always been a hobby of mine since I was a boy at school. It also formed the rural economy part of much of my subject when I was a professorbefore I retired,

I understand that the world is discovering the force of economic law. Everybody ought to know that economic law governs all human enterprise. The banks now find it necessary to have their economic adviser. Even the politicians find that economics governs their activities. (Laughter and applause.) Agriculture, including

« PreviousContinue »