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In estimating the losses I have consulted with men of all classes in every district and neighborhood, and the percentage of loss I have placed at the lowest estimates made. The number of voters is as taken from the registration books. I have estimated 3 hogs owned by each voter, which is rather a low estimate for this county, and $5 the value per head.
The estimated losses are shown by the following table:
By the above table it will be seen that the total loss for this county for this year amounts to $36,579. This estimate is entirely within the limits.
I find no disease among cattle in this county. In former years many farmers purchased stock cattle in the large markets for winter feeding, but this year, because of the reports of pleuro-pneumonia in and around our large cities, they have been afraid to make such purchases. By this caution they have very likely prevented the introduction of infectious diseases. The prevalence of pleuro-pneumonia in the country thus works a hardship upon the farmers of the county.
The horses are all reported healthy.
The swine plague that has been so destructive in other localities on this peninsulâ seems to have done very little damage in this county, as a whole.
This swine plague first made its appearance in this county in the fall of 1885, and is said to have been introduced by the purchase of a hog in Talbot County which was brought into Preston precinct of Harmony district, No. 4. This hog was procured for feeding purposes. It very soon sickened and died, infecting the whole herd of the purchaser. It was afterwards learned that disease existed in the herd of the gentleman who sold this hog. From this one animal the disease spread to some of the adjoining farms during that fall and winter, and during the year 1886 it spread and infected nearly every farm within a radius of 4 miles. It is estimated that 50 per cent. of the hogs have died in this infected district, amounting to a loss of $3,000 or more.
From this point the disease is spreading, and will soon take in all the lower portion of the county.
The disease has also made a lodgment in Tuckahoe Neck, near Hillsborough, another part of the county. Mr. Jarrell and Mr. Lord, in this locality, have lost nearly every animal from their large herds. This is a recent outbreak, but from these farms the disease is likely to spread. The other parts of the county are entirely free from the plague. This is surprising when it is known that the disease prevails in all the counties adjoining this on the south, west, and north, and in Delaware on the east. It is quite possible the malady might be held in check in this county and much property saved by strict quarantine regulations and thorough sanitary precautions.
QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY. I find no disease among the cattle of this county. There are some fine herds of Herefords and Shorthorns, and many grade cattle of good quality. There is much interest taken here in the breeding of fine stock of all kinds. Many farmers have been in the habit, in years past, of buying stock cattle for winter feeding and have found it profitable; but because of the prevalence of pleuro-pneumonia in many sections of the country they have feared to do so this year. They are now feeding only such as are bred in the county, but this supply is entirely inadequate to their wants. They are hoping for national legislation to rid the country of this terrible plague.
Many fine horses are also bred in this county. The horse stock I found in healthy condition.
Finding so little disease among the swine in Caroline County, as stated in my last report, I had hoped to find but little in Queen Anne's, but I was disappointed. The ravages of swine plague in this county have been as great or greater than in any county I have inspected. There is no portion of the county exempt from it, and the losses have been very heavy in every part.
This year the disease has been more severe in the southern and western parts of the county, and the losses are here estimated at 75 per cent. or over. In some neighborhoods there is not a hog left.
Mr. T. A. Embert, merchant at Queenstown, says that this year he has not sold a pound of sage for sausage, nor a sack of salt for curing meat, while usually he has sold large quantities.
In the districts about Wye Mills, Wye Neck, Queenstown, and Kent Island there is scarcely a hog left. Above Centreville the losses this year have probably not gone above 55 per cent. This is an estimate by Mr. E. B. Emory, an extensive breeder of Shorthorn cattle, fine horses, Cottswold sheep, and Berkshire hogs. He has lost no hogs this year, but last year he lost 100 head of thoroughbred hogs, worth over $1,000; and in 1884 he lost over 300 head, worth over $3,000. His immunity from disease this year is attributed to his great care and the strict quarantine regulations enforced on his farm. After canvassing every part of the county I am of opinion that the loss for the whole county is this year at least 66 per cent.
According to the registration list of 1885 there are in this county 4,545 voters. If we estimate 3 hogs to the voter, as we have done in other counties, we have 13,635 hogs, and if we value them at $5 per head we have $68,175 as the value of the annual hog crop. Estimating the loss at 66 per cent., we have $44,995.50 as the loss to this county for the current year.
This is according to estimates made as I have usually made them in other counties, i. e., 3 hogs to the voter and $5 per head. Now, in this county, it is invariably estimated that at least 5 hogs are owned by each voter. This would make 22,725 hogs, and they are taxed at $4 per head, two-thirds of their actual value, making $6 the value per head, This would make $136,350 as the total value of the usual hog crop. Sixty-six per cent. of this amount would make $89,991 as the loss for this year. If the latter estimate is correct, my reports for the other counties I have inspected are far below the mark.
The same carelessness prevails here as in other counties as to the care of the sick and disposal of the dead animals. No care is taken to separate the sick from the well; no quarantine regulations are observed, and the dead are left to decay on the fields or are cast into the streams. There is a wonderful amount of ignorance among farmers as to the infectious character of the disease. It is worse than folly to attempt to cure an animal when once attacked, for so long as he is sick or convalescing he is scattering the seeds of infection, and should he recover he is usually valueless. Could the farmers be induced to kill the sick and bury the dead this plague might be checked. But if the present course is pursued they must soon cease to raise swine. Stringent legislative measures only can stop the spread of the disease.
I commenced the investigations of this county January 19. My work has been much delayed, as I could make but a few miles a day because of bad roads and deep mud. Besides, there are kept in this county a vast number of cattle, both for dairy and feeding purposes. As this county is so near Baltimore, a great center of infection, it has required great care and minute inquiry to determine the true condition of affairs. Along the line of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and the Maryland Central Railroad there are many dairy farms, from which great quantities of milk are shipped daily to Baltimore, and in some places butter is made for the same market.
In other parts of the county winter and summer feeding of steers for beef is made a large business. In the northeast quarter of the county, on nearly every farm, will be found from 10 to 140 head of feeding cattle; large numbers are also fed in other parts of the county. This feeding of cattle is a yearly business and a source of great revenue. Naturally rich soil has been greatly improved by this custom, until Harford County is one of the wealthiest in the State. Many herds of Jerseys are found here, and some fine Holstein-Friesians for the dairy, and a few good herds of Shorthorns for beef.
I commenced my work at Havre de Grace, from there visiting the lower part of the county, and from thence up along the Susquehanna to the Deer Creek country, where are to be found some of the wealthiest and best-informed farmers of the State.
Nearly all the farmers cheerfully aided me in my investigations, and this was particularly the case with the members of the Deer Creek Farmer's Club, a society that has done much to advance the interests of the farmers of this county. From thence along the north line of the county to the Baltimore County line, and thence to Bel Air for the central and southwestern parts, the feeding cattle are in first-class condition. I found no disease among them of any kind.
These cattle are generally purchased at the stock-yards at Baltimore. Immunity from disease must be attributed to the careful daily inspections made in these yards under the direction of the live stock sanitary board of this state. A few cattle, however, are bought in Pennsylvania, and some are brought from Canada. The dairy stock are not generally so well cared for. In many instances cows are not well fed, and stables are in a bad condition. Thorough search, however, revealed no cases of pleuro-pneumonia Cows in this county are generally bred here, and very few are bought in Baltimore. I am confident that there is not at this time, nor has there been for the past year, a case of pleuro-pneumonia in Harford County.
In several herds, however, I found cases of tuberculosis. In every case but one the owners promised to immediately slaughter those I pointed out as infected, and I believe they have done so. In the one case, however, the owner could not be made to believe his cow (a registered Jersey) was diseased, as he said she was giving more milk than any other cow in his herd. As our laws take no cognizance of this disease, I could do no more than give advice. I am convinced there is considerable of this disease in the county. In several stables abortion prevails to a considerable extent, and this disease is thought by most cattle raisers infectious.
Mr. William Davidson, near Bel Air, had pleuro-pneumonia on his farm in August, 1885; all his cattle were killed by order of Dr. Ward, State veterinarian. Mr. Davidson disinfected his stables and allowed no cattle on his farm for one year.
He now has 14 cows and 15 steers, all in perfect health. Stables and yards in best condition. Mr. Quinby, a near neighbor, had disease at same time, and the cattle was killed by same officer. Kept no cattle for over a year. Now has 4 head, all in good condition. I believe these farms to be entirely free from infection now.
The people of Harford County are deeply interested in the cattle industry, and are anxious for national legislation for the eradication of contagious diseases.
Swine plague has prevailed here more or less for several years. In the years 1884–85 the southern half of the county lost heavily-from 25 to 50 per cent. loss each year, but in 1886 but few högs were lost. In the northern half, however, the disease prevailed in 1886. From careful inquiry I estimated the loss for the northern half at about 25 per cent. for 1886, and on many farms I found hogs still dying. This northern half embraces more than half the population. The registered vote of the county is 6,977. One-half of this, say, is 3,488. Counting three hogs to a voter, this would make 10,464 hogs at $5=$52,320, total value of usual hog crop. Twenty-five per cent. loss makes $13,080, the probable loss for 1886. This is counting no loss for the southern half of the county; but as the loss in this part in 1886 has been from 3 to 5 per cent., it would make a total for the county of over $15,500. Generally the same carelessness prevails here as in other counties as regards the care of the infected and disposal of the dead animals.
My investigations were greatly facilitated by Mr. Alexander, of Bel Air, president of the live stock sanitary board, and
Mr. Fulford. Among the most interesting visits made was the one to his splendid Berkshire breeding farm, where I found the sanitary arrangements good and stock in perfect health.
With Chestertown for a base, I visited every portion of Kent County. This is the greatest peach-growing county of the State. All the energies of the farmers seem to be centered on this industry. As a consequence, cattle raising has been neglected. Generally the cattle are badly cared for, and of inferior grade. A few good herds are found of Shorthorns. Herefords, and Jerseys. I found no pleuropneumonia, and no indication that it had ever been here. Some few cases of tuberculosis were found. In a few stables abortion prevails to quite an alarming extent.
The horses of this county are of good stock and have excellent care. The only disease found among them was distemper, which now prevails extensively in some sections.
In consequence of the immense peach crops raised here, the farmers keep great numbers of hogs, probably far more in proportion to the population than any other county in the State. Many farmers keep from 50 to 75 head, while quite frequently more than 100 were to be found on a farm before the swine plague got among them. This disease has prevailed more or less for some years.
In 1885 a half district, along the Chester River and Chesapeake Bay, lost nearly its whole hog crop. In 1886 not more than 20 per cent died. But during the past year the other parts of the county have lost heavily. The disease was worse during the fall of last year, but I found some farms where hogs were still dying. I give below, in tabulated form, the losses by districts for 1886. I estimate the number of hogs owned by each voter here at 5 instead of 3, as in other counties. This is considered entirely within bounds' by all with whom I have talked.
It will be seen from the above table that the total loss for Kent County in 1886 was $59,385.75.
This is greater than any county I have inspected. I saw several farms where from 90 to 100 hogs were lost last year. Kent is one of the wealthiest in the State, but the swine plague is one of the most serious troubles ever experienced here.
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY.
Comparatively few cattle are kept in this county, the farmers mostly devoting their attention to the raising of vegetables and fruits for market. Stables, as a rule, are very poor, and but little attention is given to cattle, which are of poor quality and badly fed. In and around the city of Annapolis quite a number of cows are kept for dairy purposes.
In the city, Horn Point-a suburb-and Camp Parole, about three miles out, are the only places where any disease was found. A detailed report of the cases found here, the number that died, number killed, and the number in quarantine, has been furnished your Department by Dr. William H. Wray, under whose direction the first investigations were made.
There are now in quarantine at Horn Point five stables, in Annapolis City one herd, and one herd at Camp Parole. I have been unable to