Page images



To the President of the Michigan State Board of Agriculture:

In conformity with an appointment from you, the undersigned attended the Convention of Cattle Commissioners held at Springfield, Illinois, December 1st, 2d and 3d, 1868. Delegates were in attendance from the States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and from the Province of Ontario.

The Convention was called for the purpose of considering a disease in cattle known as the Texas fever, or Texas cattledisease. A large amount of evidence was brought forward, showing that cattle brought from Texas, and from the territory known as the Cherokee country, have in numerous instances communicated disease to other cattle in the States through which they have passed, or where they have been left to graze and fatten. In the States of Missouri and Illinois, great losses have been sustained from this cause, and in the State of New York various fatal cases have occurred which originated in Texas cattle sent to the eastern markets as beef.

The disease in question is of a peculiar character, and skillful veterinarians, both in Europe and this country, are unacquainted with it. Within a short time, however, the health officers of the city of New York and Chicago, and the cattlecommissioners of the State of New York, have made very important investigations respecting it, which, if properly followed ap--especially by thorough examinations in Texas, both in reference to the condition of the cattle there, and the nature and properties of the vegetation on which they feed,-may lead to a correct knowledge of the disease, and the best means of treating it.

It is unnecessary to go into details here in regard to the results of the investigations which have already been made. It is sufficient to say that the disease is characterized by a rapid disintegration of the blood, and the presence of microscopic spores of a fungus plant (Tilletia caries) in the blood and bile. The discovery of these spores seems to throw some light on the manner in which the disease is disseminated, as they are found not only in the fluids of animals that show marked symptoms of the disease, but also in the blood of Texan cattle that are otherwise apparently healthy. These facts are fully recorded in the authorized report of the proceedings of the Convention..

It is proper to say, however, that the danger of admitting Texas or Cherokee cattle to come into our region of country at any other season than when the temperature is so low as to prevent the spread of the disease, was obvious to every unprejudiced mind; and in view of protecting the different States against the introduction of this destructive malady, the Convention adopted the following propositions, to be submitted as the basis of legislative action:


1. Provides for the appointment of three Commissioners, or such other number as may be necessary, by competent authority, to hold such office for five years, and report annually to the Legislature.

2. Such Commissioners shall have power to watch over the general welfare of animals within the State for which they are appointed, and particularly to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases among them, and to protect the people of the State from the dangers arising from consumption of diseased meat.

3. They may from time to time appoint such Assistant Commissioners to aid them in the discharge of their duties, as the public good may require.

4. They should have power to administer oaths, and to prescribe from time to time such rules and regulations as may be necessary to accomplish the objects of their appointment.

5. They shall give public notice of the outbreak of any dangerous disease, and such practical directions for its avoidance as they may deem necessary.

6. They may either place such diseased cattle in quarantine or cause them to be killed, as may seem necessary for the public protection; but in the latter case they shall cause an appraisal of such cattle to be made, and the county or State shall pay such proportion of the appraised value as may be provided by law.


1. The Commissioners, or any Assistant Commissioner, located on the frontier of any State, shall have power at such times as may be prescribed by the Commissioners, to inspect all the animals brought into such State, whether by railroad cars, vessels or common roads, and shall have power to detain such railroad cars, vessels and drovers, or animals on common roads, long enough to make a proper investigation of them, for the purpose of ascertaining their sanitary condition.

2. No animal shall be permitted to enter the State, which shall be deemed by such Assistant Commissioners to be capable of diffusing dangerous diseases, or injuring the health of the inhabitants; but an appeal shall be allowed to the Commissioners in all such cases.

3. No train shall be allowed to proceed unless the animals contained therein have been supplied with food, water, and rest, within 24 hours next preceding the time of such inspection.

4. All animals shall rest and have access to food and water for 24 hours, after having traveled a similar period.

5. The Railroad Companies shall provide suitable yards for feeding, watering, and resting the animals traveling on the trains, and for quarantine purposes; which shall be kept in cleanly and wholesome condition, to the satisfaction of the Commissioners.

6. Each train on leaving its point of departure, shall have certificates, signed by an Assistant Commissioner, which shall certify that all the animals therein contained were in a healthy condition at the time of its departure, and also the exact time of leaving; and such certificate and endorsements thereon of the time of resting and time of the departure of the train at subsequent resting and feeding places, shall be exhibited to the proper authorities whenever required.

7. Proper penalties should be inserted to prevent the bribery of officers charged with the execution of these provisions.

8. Proper penalties should also be provided for those who interfere with or resist the officers charged with the execution of these duties.


WHEREAS, A malignant disease among cattle, known as Spanish fever, has been widely disseminated by the transit of Western cattle through the Western and North-western States during the warm season of the year, occasioning great loss to all farmers, and possibly endangering the health of our citizens; therefore,

Resolved, That this Convention earnestly recommend the enactment, by those States, of stringent laws to prevent the transit through their limits of Texas or Cherokee cattle, from the 1st day of March to the 1st day of November, inclusive.

Resolved, That the interests of the community require the enactment of laws making any person responsible for all damages that may result from the diffusion of any dangerous disease from animals in his ownership or possession.

Resolved, That all Texas and South-western cattle that have been ascertained to have been wintered in the States north of Texas, will be considered as native cattle.

Exposed as the State of Michigan is to the passage of Texas cattle through it on several lines of railroad, it is believed to be the part of prudence to guard, as far as practicable, against any injury from this cause occurring to our citizens. In this view, the attention of the Legislature was called to the subject, at its late session, and a law, a copy of which is herewith appended, was enacted.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »