« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
find any other infected herds, though as warm weather comes on other cases may develop. · This disease (pleuro-pneumonia) was evidently introduced here in July, 1886, by a Jew cow dealer named Joseph Stern, from Baltimore, who brought a few cows from Baltimore to this place by boat for sale and exchange. Every case of this disease here has been traced to this lot of cattle. The first one attacked was an animal sold to Mr. Joseph Beardmore, of Horn Point. Seven head of Mr. Beardmore's herd died, and 6 more were killed by Dr. Wray. All the other herds infected were from contact with cattle from Stern's importation. Mr. Stern sold cattle to other parties in the city and country. I believe I have traced every animal sold by him, and have examined them and the herds into which they entered, but found no disease except in the cases already reported. It is quite evident that some of the cows brought here by Stern had been exposed to infection in Baltimore, which did not develop till some time after the lot was sold and separated; hence some of them escaped the disease and the herds into which they entered were saved.
As Anne Arundel County is separated from Baltimore only by the Patapsco River, it was supposed there might be found some disease in the northern part of the county. As Dr. Wray, chief inspector of the work in Baltimore, is making close inspections of every stable within 10 miles of that city, I made at his request a careful inspection of that part of Anne Arundel County commencing at Brooklyn and out the various roads from that place for 10 miles. A detailed report of these daily inspections have been made to Dr. Wray and will appear in his report to you. I will only here state that I found no signs of pleuro-pneumonia and but two cases of tuberculosis. From hearing the reports of so much disease in Baltimore the people
have been very cautious in their purchases, and as yet the disease has not got among them. I found
no disease among the horses of this county. Swine plague has prevailed here for some years. In 1885 and 1886 it was particularly severe. In the southern portion of the county it is estimated that at least 75 per cent. of the hogs died in 1886. In all other parts of the county 50 per cent. were lost. There are in the county 6,842 voters. In the eighth, or southern district, there are 887 voters. This, at 3 hogs to a voter, would give 2,661' hogs, and at $5 per head $13,305 as the value of the usual hog crop for this district. A loss of 75 per cent. would make $9,978.75.
The other districts contain 5,955 voters, X 3=17,865 hogs, at $5 per head, $89,325. A loss of 50 per cent. makes $44,662.50. This, with $9,978.75 in the eighth district, makes a total loss for the county in 1886 of $54,641.25.
The disease still prevails, and I saw many infected herds. Very many farmers told me they would not attempt to raise hogs while this disease was so prevalent; they are discouraged. Very few having made pork for their own use last year, and with low prices for other crops, they can ill afford to purchase meats.
I have found no infectious or contagious diseases among cattle in this county. Tobacco is the principal crop here, and very few cattle are kept, except as work oxen. They raise very little hay; the stables are very poor, and often no shelter is provided for cattle.
The general condition of the cattle of this county is worse than any I have seen. I have learned of many instances of actual starvation. I was called to visit several farms where sickness was said to prevail, and as was supposed, from infectious disease, for sometimes several in a herd were sick at the same time. In every instance I found the cattle nearly starved; they had been turned out into the fields and had eaten largely of the dried grasses and weeds, causing impaction of the stomach and bowels, and imflammation of these organs.
The number sick and the number that have died was a surprise to me. In these cases I could only give advice as to treatment and care of stock.
No disease among horses. The horse stock here is very poor in quality.
The swine plague has caused severe losses. In 1886 the losses were very heavy. I am satisfied the percentage of deaths in the county reached at least 50 per cent., though in some sections it reached 75 per cent. There are in the county 2,395 voters; at 3 hogs per voter makes 7,185 hogs, and at $5 per head makes $35,925, value of usual hog crop; 50 per cent. loss gives us $17,962.50. This, I am sure, is a fair estimate of the losses sustained by this county for 1886.
SAINT MARY'S COUNTY.
The condition of stock in Saint Mary's is better than in Calvert County, but still is in rather poor condition. Tobacco and corn are the main crops here, but generally the land is stronger and more grass is grown and rather better care and attention is given to live stock, though I found some in very poor condition.
I found no contagious diseases among cattle. Very few cattle having been brought into this county of late, they have escaped the infection of pleuro-pneumonia.
The horses are healthy. On the farm of Dr. John M. Broome, and in the vicinity of his place (Saint Mary's City), for some years glanders prevailed. The disease was brought in from Baltimore. The losses sustained amounted to several hundred dollars. The killing of every infected animal some time since has finally put an end to the contagion. Had this course been resorted to at first many horses and a large amount of money might have been saved.
As in all the other counties, the swine plague has caused great loss. During the past year it has prevailed in all parts of the county; less severely, probably, in Chaptico district than in the other districts. I am satisfied the loss for the whole county for 1886 will reach 75 per cent. Estimating, as in other counties, this would make a total loss of $43,515.
I found that Dr. John M. Broome had reported on April 1 to your Department that the losses by swine plague last year amounted to over 50 per cent., but he authorized me to say that upon further investigation he was satisfied that he had made too low an estimate, and he believed it was really 75 per cent.
Upon investigation I found that the pork and bacon brought into the town of Leonardtown by boat, to supply the demand for the district, say of 10 miles around, amounts yearly to about $44,000. This has been a necessity lately, because of the great loss of hogs by disease.
The money thus expended has been taken from the sale of other products, and this amount represents but a small part of the county. The real loss to the people is really more than double my estimate.
The farmers of this county, like most other counties of southern Maryland, have given very little attention to the improvement of cattle, keeping comparatively few of any kind. Very few cattle have been brought into the county, and fortunately they have escaped pleuro-pneumonia. I find no contagious disease among this class of animals, with the exception of a few cases of tuberculosis. Cattle here are usually badly cared for, both as to food and shelter.
The horse stock is of better blood and well cared for, and in a healthy condition.
I visited every district and section of the county, making inquiries as to the condition of hogs. I find the swine plague has prevailed here for several years. In the years of 1885 and 1886 the losses were heavier than ever before.
So generally has this disease prevailed that many of the best farmers told me they had now entirely given up the attempt to keep hogs, and others are keeping as few as possible. Fearing the ravages of the disease this year, very few hogs are to be found in the county.
In some neighborhoods few hogs died last year, but in most cases these same sections lost heavily in 1885. In most districts the losses for 1886 amounted to over 75 per cent. Considering the small losses in some neighborhoods this percentage will be somewhat reduced. After careful investigation, I am of the opinion that the loss for last year for the whole county will amount to at least 66 per cent. In the county there are 3,898 voters. Estimating 3 hogs to a voter gives a total of 11,694. At $5 per head makes $58,470 as the value of the hog crop. Sixty-six per cent. makes the total loss $38,590.20 for 1886.
I feel sure this estimate is below the actual loss. Inquiry instituted among the merchants shows that the pork and bacon brought into the county to supply the wants of the people far exceeds my estimated loss.
With the very low prices realized from their staple crop-tobacco—they can ill afford to buy meats to supply their actual wants.
Among the poorer classes much suffering and want is the result of this disease among swine.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY.
Tobacco, wheat, and corn are the great crops raised here, and comparatively few cattle are kept, except near the District of Columbia and along the railroads leading into Washington, where large numbers are kept for dairy purposes.
In the southern and eastern parts of the county I found cattle healthy; no contagious disease except a few cases of tuberculosis, which is found here, as well as in every other section of the State, to a greater or less extent. The cattle usually kept in this county are of inferior quality.
After having examined the southern and central parts of the county from Upper Marlborough, the county seat, I changed my quarters to Bladensburgh, near the District line. In this section I expected to find pleuro-pneumonia, for I knew your inspector, Dr. Wray, had, within the last few weeks, destroyed three herds, one belonging to Mr. Elon Behrend, at Seat Pleasant, one to Mr. D. M. Nesbit, College Station, and one to Mr. S. B. Holton, Hyattsville. As these stables were several miles apart, I felt it my duty to examine very carefully all the cattle in this section of the county. To do this has taken much time. Most of the cattle here are purchased at the stockyards or from dealers in Washington. Careful inquiry convinces me that pleuro-pneumonia has had a home in the District of Columbia and vicinity for many years, and very likely was brought here from the North during the war.
I could hear of many farms and dairies where this disease is said to have prevailed, more or less, for several years. Many dairymen have learned to diagnose the malady, and when it appears the sick cattle are disposed of at once. Owing to this practice, very few cases are to be found.
I have been able to locate the disease in but one herd, that of Mr. John W. Gregory, near Seat Pleasant, a short distance from the District line. His herd contained over 40 cows and young stock. Here I found several chronic cases, and much coughing all through the stable. Mr. Gregory told me that two or more years ago he lost several cows with pleuro-pneumonia, and had some animals now in his stable that had recovered (?) from the disease. These cows it was not difficult to find, and in my opinion were such as were liablo to spread the disease, and I reported them to Dr. Wray, who, I understand, is about to destroy the whole herd. Every animal on farms near this place has been inspected, and many of them by Dr. Trumbower, but we have been unable to find any others diseased. I have also examined all animals near College Station and Hyattsville, and find no signs of pleuro-pneumonia.
They are liable to get disease here from the District of Columbia, where I have good reason to believe the plague has a foothold. Í should be glad if the District could be inspected at the same time as the counties bordering thereon.
Much interest is felt in the county because of a few cases of glanders among horses lately discovered here. Some time in May or June Dr. Ward, State veterinary officer, condemned and killed 4 head belonging to Mr. Smith, near Hall's Station. On June 15 I found two more cases on the farm of Mr. A. O, Brady, near Forestville. I at once notified Dr. Ward, but before he arrived one of the horses died ; the other was appraised and killed under State law. Others on the farm were placed in quarantine.
Swine plague has for many years prevailed here, until the farmers have ceased to raise hogs to any extent. Farmers all over the county are deterred from attempting to raise them for fear of the disease. I found fewer hogs here than any county visited in the State. Instead of estimating three hogs to a voter here, I am sure there can not be found over one hog to a voter now. This would give 6,807 as the number of hogs in the county, and at $5 per head we have a total value of $34,035. The very lowest estimates made as to the losses last year are from 50 to 75 per cent. Taking 50 per cent., the very lowest, and we have $17,017.50 as the total loss for 1886. I believe this to be below the actual loss. Respectfully submitted,
F. W. PATTERSON, M, D., Inspector, Bureau of Animal Industry.
THE "LOCO” PLANT AND ITS EFFECT ON ANIMALS.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the results of an investigation directed by you:
The work assigned me was the investigation of the disease known as “ Loco.” This is a term which has attached itself to a certain disorder familiar to many Western ranch men. The term is by no means an inappropriate one. It is the Spanish expression for foolish” or “cranky.” While the term is used simply to designate a certain affection, it is intended, also, to convey a notion of one of the characteristic clinical symptoms of the disease. The same term is applied also to designate one or more species of plants, which are generally supposed to have some connection with the disorder. These are the Oxytropis lambertii and Astragalus mollississimus.
The term (“Loco"), then, is applied to both the disease and the plant supposed to produce it. The disorder is known throughout a very large section of the western and southwestern portion of the United States. It is known in the western portion of Kansas and Nebraska, and extends to Texas and Mexico, westward to California, and north to Wyoming, and probably to Montana.
The territory I visited during my investigations extends from the western boundary of Nebraska to Salt Lake, and from Cheyenne to El Paso. In addition to personal observation, I endeavored to gather from the most trustworthy sources what verbal testimony I could that would tend to throw light on this subject. With this end in view I visited the headquarters and camps of many of the most experienced ranch men in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. So far as I was able I attended the local and general meeting of stockmen, and by this sort of personal contact with the practical men of the plains I was able to summarize the experience and judgment of these men. I spent much of my time on the range and ranches, observing the peculiarities of the afflicted animals, and making frequent post-mortem examinations of animals that had recently died from the disease, or those that had been destroyed for that purpose.
As to the testimony of stock-owners, it is pretty uniform, as given by those who have had personal experience with the trouble. I found a number of ranch men, and especially those who have their land “under ditch" and cultivate their crops and care for their stock according to usage on farms further east, who had but recently heard the term "loco” for the first time, or anything concerning its significance. Others had witnessed, years ago, the same effect as we now attribute to eating the loco, but for which they had no explanation at the time. In other instances there was abundant testimony that the appearance of “loco” with any serious results was of recent date. This was notably the case on the foot-hill ranches back of Longmont and Greely, Colo.