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Doctor MELVIN. By the Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. You may submit a statement on the utility of your Bureau.
(Statement of Doctor Melvin on the utility of the Bureau of Animal industry is as follows:)
The Bureau of Animal Industry represents the work of the Government in the interest of the live-stock industry. Some idea of the immensity of the interests with which it deals may be obtained from statistics. In 1906 the farm animals in the United States numbered 191,718,627, with the enormous valuation of $3,675,389,442. To this should be added poultry, the fowls on farms, according to the census of 1900, being valued at $85,794,996. The census gives the value of the products of slaughtering and meat-packing establishments presumably not including slaughtering on farms and by local butchers—as $913,914,624 in 1905, and the value of poultry and egg products as $281,178,247 in 1899. The value of dairy products in 1905 was estimated at $665,000,000. To promote and protect these vast interests is the work of the Burean. In addition there are other large commercial interests, such as the railroads, which are more or less directly affected by the Bureau's work.
The work of the Bureau includes both administration and scientific research. Briefly stated, it consists of the inspection and quarantine of live stock, the inspection of meat and meat-food products, measures for the investigation, control, and eradication of animal diseases, and work in animal husbandry and in the interest of the dairy industry. This work requires the services of about 2,800 persons, and the appropriations for maintaining it during the fiscal year 1907 amount to $4,029,480.
THE CONTROL AND ERADICATION
OF CONTAGIOUS DISEASES.
The immediate purpose for which the Bureau was created in 1884 was the eradication of contagious pleuro-pneumonia of cattle. That fatal and treacherous disease had spread over a considerable portion of the country, and as a result of the prevalence of this and other animal diseases a number of foreign governments had either prohibited or greatly restricted the importation of our live stock and meats. After several years' arduous work, with inadequate funds and powers, and against many difficulties, the complete eradication of pleuro-pneumonia was accomplished.
In 1889 the southern cattle quarantine was instituted, as the nature and cause of Texas fever became better understood. This quarantine service permits the marketing of nearly a million and a half cattle a year from the infested districts, practically without danger to cattle from other sections, and at higher prices than would otherwise be possible.
An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in New England in the winter of 1902–3 threatened to do great damage to the live-stock industry of the country and to ruin our export in live stock. Cooperative work with the States involved was at once begun, and as ample funds were provided by Congress the disease was practically eradicated within the exceedingly short time of six months. Had this disease been permitted to spread to the large livestock regions of the Middle West and far West, the damage would have been enormous.
For several years the Bureau has been working for the eradication of scabies of sheep and cattle in the West. These diseases are being gradually brought under control. Already Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona have been practically freed from sheep scab, and the disease has been greatly diminished in other States. Good headway has been made against cattle mange in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This work consists principally of inspection and dipping on the range and at shipping points, the object being to strike the evil at its source and thus prevent the contamination of the channels of interstate commerce and the spread of the infection. In the fiscal year 1906 the total number of inspections of sheep for scabies was 59.246,288, and the total number of dippings was 12,396,976. The number of inspections of cattle for scabies was 14,983,260, and the total number of dippings was 243,826. This work means an immense sav
ing to the stockmen of the country. The eradication of sheep scab results in the production of a much larger amount of wool than is possible when the disease is present. One flock master with 40,000 head of sheep has stated that the dipping increased the yield of wool of his sheep 11 pounds a head, which, at the value of 20 cents a pound, amounted to $12,000. In many flocks the proportion of increase would be much greater.
A new line of work undertaken during 1906 is the effort to eradicate the southern cattle tick, Congress having appropriated $82,500 for a beginning in this work in cooperation with State authorities. The season was far advanced when the appropriation was passed (June 30, 1906), and the time was short for effective work; yet the results so far accomplished are very gratifying and encouraging. They indicate that the eradication of the tick is entirely possible, though it is recognized as a large and difficult undertaking. As a result of the first season's work it is believed that forty whole counties and parts of eleven other counties, with an area larger than the State of Virginia, can be safely released from quarantine. For many years the cattle tick and the infection of Texas fever which it transmits have been a great handicap to the livestock industry of the South. It is estimated that this tick is responsible for about $40,000,000 of loss annually to the people in the infected country, and that it also lowers the assets of the South by an additional $23,250,000. The eradication of this tick will be of incalculable advantage to the South and of great benefit to the entire country.
THE INSPECTION OF ANIMALS AND MEATS.
The meat inspection is the largest branch of the Bureau's work. In this service about two-thirds of the members of the force are engaged, and the appropriation for this work is $3,000.000. The inspection is now conducted at more than 600 establishments, in 150 cities, and is being rapidly extended. During the fiscal year 1906 nearly 69,000,000 ante-mortem inspections and 43.000.000 post-mortem inspections of animals were made. There were condemned for disease or other cause 158,953 carcasses and 126,159 parts of carcasses. For the current year there will be a large increase in the number, of animals inspected.
The new law of June 30, 1906, overcomes many of the disadvantages under which inspection was previously conducted and provides more money and gives greater powers. The inspection is now applied not only to the animals before slaughter and to their carcasses at the time of slaughter, as heretofore, but also to the meats and meat food products in all the stages and processes of preparation, curing, and canning. Sanitary equipment, conditions, and methods are required of the packing houses, the use of harmful chemicals and preservatives and misleading labels is not allowed, and the interstate and foreign traffic in meats is closely supervised.
This inspection system serves not only to protect the public health, but fosters and promotes our export trade in meats and meat-food products. Our exports of animals and animal products for the twelve months ending November 30, 1906, amounted to over $301,000,000. Much of this trade would not be possible without the inspection system. The inspection of live animals for export is also conducted, by which the reputation for health of American live stock has been established and is maintained in the foreign markets. By inspecting and regulating the ships carrying export animals the losses have been reduced to almost nothing, and the rates of ocean insurance on cattle have been reduced from 8 per cent to one-half of 1 per cent.
The live stock of this country is protected from the contagious and destructive animal diseases which exist in other parts of the world by means of a careful and vigilant system of quarantine and inspection of imported animals.
Valuable service in behalf of our large export trade with Great Britain in animals and animal products has been performed by an inspector of the Bureau stationed in London. This inspector, with an assistant, examines United States animals on arrival at British ports, reports on their condition, and makes suggestions for improvements in methods of handling, shipment, etc. During the fiscal year 1906 there were so inspected 511,491 head of cattle, sheep, and horses. By keeping in close touch with British agricultural officials and prominent commercial men, giving them authentic and reliable information, and by reason of the confidence and influence which he has established among those classes, he
has in many ways rendered valuable assistance to our export interests. During the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the New England States he was largely instrumental in prevailing upon the British authorities not to prohibit all live stock from the United States. In this way our exporters were enabled to continue shipments from all the usual ports except those immediately in the affected section. If this had not been accomplished, a very large loss to the country would have resulted. The London representative is also generally useful in collecting and transmitting to the Department information as to foreign affairs relating to its work or affecting the export trade.
For the convenience of importers of fine breeding cattle an inspector of the Bureau in Great Britain makes tuberculin tests of cattle intended for exportation to the United States. During the last fiscal year one-sixth of the cattle tested were found diseased with tuberculosis and were rejected. By this service the United States importers are enabled to buy cattle in Great Britain, subject to a reliable tuberculin test, with the assurance that they will be admitted into the United States. Otherwise they would often sustain heavy losses by having animals condemned and slaughtered on arrival in this country after they had bought and paid for them.
SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF DISEASES.
The scientific investigation of animal diseases has always been an important part of the Bureau's work, and some notable discoveries of great scientific and economic value have been made by the Bureau's staff and have gained for the Bureau a world-wide reputation.
About 1890 the Bureau demonstrated that the cattle tick, Boophilus annulatus. was the carrier of the infection of Texas ferer, through the succeeding generation, from animal to animal. This opened up a new field in medicine and established for the first time the principle of the transmission of disease by insects acting as intermediary hosts. This mode of transmitting infection has since become quite familiar to the public hy the discovery that certain species of the mosquito spread malaria and yellow fever among people.
The Bureau must also be credited with introducing the successful treatment of actinomycosis or lumpy jaw in cattle by means of iodide of potassium, thereby effecting a saving of $250,000 annually.
The work done in the eradication of foot rot of sheep and cattle is worth $150,000 annually.
Recent investigations have cleared up much of the mystery concerning hog cholera, which has puzzled the scientific world for years, and it is now known that the cause of the most acute and virulent forms of the disease is a virus that can pass through the finest filter and is invisible under the microscope. This work has since been confirmed by European scientists. A successful remedy has been worked out in an experimental way. and efforts are now being made to adapt it to practical and general use. This method has been patented in such a way as to allow anybody in the United States the right of its use free of royalty. Hog cholera has long been a cause of heavy loss to the farmer, and it is now believed that with the knowledge at hand it will be possible to reduce this loss very greatly in the future.
The investigations regarding tuberculosis have also given important results, and the work of the Bureau has thrown considerable light upon the problem of combating this disease, not only in animals, but in man. A conservative esti
The Bureau laboratories prepare and distribute, free of charge, to health officers tuberculin for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in cattle and mallein for the diagnosis of glanders in horses. The free distribution of blackleg vaccine to stock owners has been continued for several years with excellent results. During the last fiscal year 1,350,915 doses of this vaccine were prepared and distributed. As a result of its use the losses of young cattle on which it is used have been reduced to about one-half of 1 per cent, whereas the losses without the use of vaccine were formerly as high as 10 or 12 per cent of the calves produced annually in the infected districts.
Some valuable work has recently been done in the investigation of internal parasites of sheep. The prevalence of these parasites has done great damage to the sheep industry in the eastern half of the United States, and has caused thousands of farmers to abandon sheep raising. By carefully studying one of the most troublesome of these parasites (the stomach worm) and establishing the principal facts in its life history the Bureau has placed before sheep raisers
( Witness: Melvin.)
information which will enable them very largely to prevent its ravages. Experiments indicate that it is entirely feasible to raise lambs free from this and some other injurious parasites. Our investigations along this line save $500,000 annually.
Many pathological specimens are sent from various parts of the country to the Bureau laboratories for examination and diagnosis. Dogs and other small animals are examined and tests made for rabies. The pathological laboratory in a valuable accessory to the meat-inspection service, as specimens are often sent in for confirmatory diagnosis.
The Bureau owns an experiment station, consisting of a' small farm near Washington, where animals are kept and experiments conducted in conjunction with the laboratories, which are located in the city.
WORK FOR THE DAIRY INDUSTRY. The Dairy Division of the Bureau, established in 1895, has done much to promote and assist the dairy industry of the country. It assists the export trade in dairy products by inspecting them and certifying to their quality. It also supervises renovated-butter factories and inspects their products to guard against an unwholesome article being put upon the market. Its work includes butter investigations, market-milk investigations, cheese investigations, building and management investigations, and laboratory work.
It has conducted experiments to determine the best conditions for the manufacture and storage of butter and the manufacture and curing of cheese, and its experiments have made it possible to produce in this country cheeses of the finest European varieties. It studies the quality and character of butter as it comes to the large markets and reports defects to the makers, with suggestions for improvement. Over a thousand creameries have been assisted in this way, many of them to their material advantage. This division has recently devised a rapid method for determining moisture in butter, which will be of great practical value to (reameries. Much of this work yields important financial results to the dairy industry of the country. An effort is being made to develop the dairy industry in the South, where there are not only great needs for improvement, but great possibilities. Much assistance is given to dairymen by the preparation of plans for improved and sanitary barns and other buildings. Investigations are being made to determine the best methods of producing clean, sanitary milk. Butter furnished to the Navy on contract is inspected and good quality required. The Bureau of Animal Industry has increased the value of dairy products at least $3,000,000 annually.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. It is only within recent years that it has been found practicable to take up any special work in animal husbandry. Experiments in animal breeding and feeding are now under way both independently and in cooperation with several of the State experiment stations. Probably the most important work of this kind is that undertaken in Colorado with the object of developing a class of heavy harness horses to meet a great need which has long existed in this country. Experiments in breeding Morgan horses have also been begun in Vermont. Cooperative investigations in poultry breeding and management with the Maine Experiment Station have shown that the egg-laying capacity of hens may be increased by selective breeding and proper feeding. Several of the hens have laid more than 200 eggs in a year. The success of this work means a substantial addition to the income of the farmers of the country, amounting to not less than $200,000 annually. The estimated value of the investigations concerning fecundity of cows is $100,000 annually.
PUBLICATIONS. A very important feature of the Bureau's work is the dissemination of information by means of its literature. The special reports on Diseases of the Horse and Diseases of Cattle are among the most popular and helpful publications ever issued by the Government. The annual reports, bulletins, and circulars have a wide circulation and give valuable information to the farmer, the stock raiser, the scientist, and the general public.
Whereupon (at 3.30 o'clock p. m.) the committee adjourned until 11 o'clock to-morrow morning, January 15, 1907.
COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., January 23, 1907. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, Washington, D. C.
GENTLEMEN: Will you be kind enough to advise me how many persons have been examined, how many persons have been passed, and how many appointed from the civil-service lists to the public service in the Department of Agriculture for the year 1906, giving the number for the different positions and especially with reference to scientific assistants?
Also please advise me further if you have had any applications from the Department of Agriculture for places which you have not been able to fill from your examinations, and if so, how many and when, and for what places. Yours, very respectfully,
C. E. LITTLEFIELD.
UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION,
Washington, D. C., January 30, 1907. Hon. C. E. LITTLEFIELD),
House of Representatives. SIR: In further response to your letter of January 23, the Commission has the honor to inclose herewith a table showing the number of persons examined, those who passed, and those who were appointed to positions in the Department of Agriculture during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1906, from examinations held especially for that Department. The list does not include appointments to the Department of Agriculture from the general departmental registers, such as for clerks, stenographer and typewriter, bookkeeper, messenger, watchman, and skilled laborer, as these registers are established to fill positions in all parts of the Federal civil service, and as it is not understood from your letter that you desire this information.
For your information it may be stated that since the 1st of July last the Commission has held examinations for inspector of meat products (under the meat-inspection law), tagger, and veterinary inspector, and that over twelve hundred appointments have been made from the registers for these positions during the past six months. The only position in the Department of Agriculture for which the Commission experiences difficulty in securing eligibles is that of veterinary inspector. By holding the examination for veterinary inspector frequently, however, the Commission has been ultimately able to secure a sufficient number of eligibles to meet the demands of the service in this respect.
Your attention is also invited to the inclosed announcement of examinations to be held on the dates given for the purpose of securing eligibles to fill certain positions in the Department of Agriculture, including inspectors under the pure-food law. Announcements will also be made within a few days of an examination for the position of civil-engineer student in the Division of Public Roads, at $50 a month, and of an examination to fill the position of clerk, stenographer, and typewriter in the Forest Service at Nevada City, Cal. By direction of the Commission. Very respectfully,
JOHN C. BLACK, President.
Table showing the number of persons examined, those who passed, and those who were
appointed to positions in the Department of Agriculture during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1906, from examinations held especially for that Department.