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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

Foot-Rot in Sheep

Foot-Rot in Sheep.

The Revising Committee reported as follows:—"The exclusion of all sheep suffering from any contagious disease from public sale-yards would in many ways be advantageous, but it is one of those things which, even though desirable, would be most difficult to accomplish."

Mr Bedford moved, "That this Conference affirms the desirability of excluding from public yards all sheep suffering from foot-rot."

Mr Chaytor seconded the motion, thinking it was very desirable they should take steps to prevent the spread of foot-rot, which they had heard was of an contagious nature. He did not believe it was spontaneous, and his experience had always been that the disease was caused by contagion. They ought to have some regulation to prevent it spreading, and it was quite worth while in districts where it did not exist to take measures to prevent its introduction.

Mr Matthews thought foot-rot was very much dependent on the condition of the season and the condition of the land at the time. Cold, wet land with very little grass was much better than dry land with much grass. He believed the disease originated in too much feed, from the ground not being perfectly consolidated, and from the warmth of the season.

Mr Henderson said he thought it would be very cruel to pass the resolution, as he believed that this year nine out of ton flocks were infected with foot-rot owing to the wet season and the quantity of grass.

Mr Buchanan spoke against the theory of the spontaneity of foot-rot proper, which he said was further proved by the fact that Professor Brown had discovered the actual microbe of the disease. He hoped the vote against the resolution would be unanimous simply because of its impracticability.

Mr Gray remarked that the theories of spontaneity and contagion were not at variance, and gave instances of the disease being apparently spontaneous and of others originating by means of contagion. As to the proposal before the meeting, he thought it was rather too groat an interference with the liberty of the subject, and would bear hardly in some cases.

Mr Grigg said he hoped this resolution would not be passed, as it was too strict in its nature, and they might be forging fetters for themselves by passing it.

After some further discussion the motion was put to the Conference, and lost on the voices.

At 5.30 p.m. the Conference adjourned until 10 a.m. next day.