Professor Newell in a recent statement has expressed the opinion that the ills to which farm live stock are subject, such as bovine tuberculosis—“a deficiency disease”—and foot and mouth disease can be traced back to the wrong treatment of the soil itself, from which spring the crops on which the stock are fed; and further, that bacteria which we understand from him are normally beneficient may by diseased conditions in the subject be transformed into malignant varieties to which the disease itself is wrongly ascribed. Diseased conditions in stock being in the first place induced by improper, or injudicious feeding, inadequate byre accommodation. foul water, and insufficient fresh air and sunshine. He goes to the root of the matter in more senses than one when he suggests, as we understand him to do, that the time has come for a thorough revision in our methods of soil and crop treatment. This, however, is a matter which concerns the specialist in these highly complex problems. As to the treatment to which live stock, and especially bovines, are too frequently subjected, it requires no expert knowledge to understand and to condemn it. We imagine that we follow the line of reasoning drawn by the Professor when we say that the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in our dairy herds at present has arisen from ill treatment, of the kind he describes, in the past, and this is all too prevalent at present. We only wish we could share his optimism when he states that bovine tuberculosis could be stamped out quickly by stock breeders and agriculturists giving their close attention to the points he mentions. That this would be far more than “a step in the right direction” we admit, but it implies that every cow keeper in the country has the requisite knowledge and the desire to apply that knowledge for the public benefit and quite conceivably at some considerable pecuniary loss to himself. As far as our knowledge of the matter goes the average cow keeper does not possess the requisite amount of altruism to make this even remotely possible.
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