March 17, 1921

UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

Were the 33 hogs that were infected selected from the rest of the herd?

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UNION
UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka):

And were the rest of the herd not condemned?

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

They were all

condemned.

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

Were

they all inspected?

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UNION
UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

You are

not sure?

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Well, the whole

herd was condemned. Every hog on ^he premises, and some for which compensation was sought were the best finished that this farmer had. The owner did not take the hogs out of the pens; they were driven out by the inspector. The owner stood outside and pointed out to the inspector the ones he thought were fit for the market.

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

They had been condemned previously?

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UNION
UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

I was very much interested to hear what the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Molloy) had to say in regard to his experience with glanders. Any veterinarian who has done a certain amount of service under the Health of Animals Branch has had the same experience over and over again. Therefore it may be interesting for him and the rest of the committee to know that the Health of Animals Branch, which is praised by hon. gentlemen on one side of the House and abused by hon. gentlemen on the other, has reduced the amount of compensation paid for glanders from $147,851 in 1905 to $6,000 in 1921.

With regard to the hog cholera situation and the facts in this particular case, I may say that when hog cholera appears in a herd it will very often show itself only slightly at the beginning. The first case will be indicated perhaps by a hog refusing to eat. Some morning when the rest of the hogs are busy he is inclined to lie down and hide away in some other part of the pen. There is a condition of feverishness and there is a slight discharge from the eye, which perhaps would not be noticeable to the ordinary layman feeding those hogs. Afterwards the infected hog may show a little wavering in his walk owing to weakness in the hind quarters. Then possibly acute symptoms develop, with redness on the abdomen and the back of the ears. These symptoms are familiar

to veterinarians. As the disease progresses you might get a lot of acute cases, and very often a week or ten days, or sometimes less, will make a very big difference in a herd where the infection has just been introduced.

With regard to our veterinary system, I have not said that the inspectors were infallible. What I did say, and what I repeat, without fear of contradiction, is that we have one of the best qualified veterinary services to be found in any country in the world, and to prove it I have only to say that we have less contagious disease in Canada than in any other country on the globe that I know of; and on that one ground alone if there is one country Which is entitled to ship cattle to Great Britain it is the Dominion of Canada. Our inspectors are not selected at random. First of all, every inspector has to be a graduate of a recognized veterinary college. In the second place, he has to pass a special examination, a professional examination, before he is appointed at all, and finally the appointment, under the system which now prevails, is made by the Civil Service Commission. These men are experts in their particular line. I worked fourteen years in this profession. I was chief inspector for British Columbia for that length of time, handled hundreds of cases of hog cholera and am fairly familiar with the details. Hence, I consider myself fairly efficient to form a judgment in such matters, as compared with the average hog owner. These inspectors are fully qualified, and there is no object in their causing hogs to be destroyed that should not be destroyed. It is very much easier to go on to a man's premises and tell him that he has a clean bill of health than it is to destroy his hogs.

It is a very interesting story that the hon. member (Mr. Sutherland) has told to-night-very interesting indeed. I have heard it time and time again west of the Rocky Mountains. I have heard men frequently say: "There is nothing wrong with my hogs but look out for my neighbours." In this particular case had the work been done by a newly appointed veterinarian there might perhaps have been the least doubt, but as it happened the inspector was one of our very best men on this work, Dr. Hall, a man who has been in the service for twelve or thirteen years, and whose word I would take any day of the week before I would take that of a man who was not qualified and had not received the proper training of an inspector. How are we going to carry out the require-

ments of the Animal Contagious Diseases Act in this country if we cannot rely on our inspectors? How are we ever going to keep disease out of the country, and maintain the enviable position we now enjoy in regard to contagious disease, if we are going to turn down the statement of our experts and accept the word of the hog owner. The mere fact that only thirty-three out of two hundred and thirty-five hogs were found free from disease, is an indication that there certainly was hog cholera in that herd. The veterinary director general in his report states:

If prompt notification had been given, the loss would have been very materially reduced, and instead of finding over 200 hogs so badly diseased as to be a total loss and only 33 that could be saved, the figures would have been reversed and over 200 would have been saved and only 33 lost.

In regard to garbage feeding, it is recognized in every country and particularly in this country where we import pork from the United States to a considerable extent, that garbage is a dangerous feed to give to hogs. I had a very excellent opportunity to study this sort of feeding in British Columbia, where in the cities of Victoria, Vancouver, New Westminster and Nanaimo large numbers of Chinese were raising hogs on garbage feed. They had all sorts of ramshackle premises and very poor cooking plants. They did not cook the feed properly, and hog cholera was always present, with the result that the disease would scatter over the country and we had hog cholera all through the province. Then we introduced a system of feeding regulations and insisted on those men keeping their premises perfectly clean. I left that department in 1917 to become the representative of Victoria in this House, and at that time we had succeeded in compelling those Chinamen to keep their premises in such clean condition, and we maintained such a close watch on them, that for years British Columbia had been entirely free from hog cholera. The feeding of garbage to hogs is very dangerous except under careful regulations. We have in force certain rules under which this feeding is permitted. One of those rules is that all the garbage must be thoroughly cooked, the cooking being necessary to sterilize and make it perfectly safe for the hogs. In this particular case to which the hon. member for South Oxford has drawn attention, our inspectors found garbage not thoroughly cooked. While the owners of those hogs may be very respectable men, and I am willing to accept his word for it, yet we know that our inspectors are reliable men

who have been in the service for a long time, there is no reason to think they did not tell the truth, and until the opposite can be proved we are bound to accept their word. The owners of those hogs broke the rule not only in failing to cook the garbage thoroughly, but also in not reporting that the disease existed on their premises, and therefore they forfeited their right to compensation. All the thirty-three hogs were slaughtered under inspection. In the United States they have a double immunization test, introducing on one side of the hogs a serum which does not contain living germs, and on the other side injecting a virus from the blood which does contain germs. In that way, while these hogs might have passed inspection as hogs that had been doubly immunized, still the pork from those animals, if fed in an uncooked state, might convey hog cholera to hogs. Hog cholera is not a disease that is communicable to man. The carcases of those thirty-three hogs were passed by competent men of the department, and were therefore fit for food just the same as if they had passed through an ordinary abattoir. Had those two hundred and thirty-five hogs passed through an abattoir two hundred and two of them would have been condemned as affected with hog cholera, and thirty-three would have been passed as fit for food in the usual way. I feel the hon. member for South Oxford is very much interested in this case, and I was very glad to hear what he had to say in regard to it, but if we are not going to enforce these rules as to the feeding of garbage we are going to have hog cholera all over the country as we used to have in British Columbia. These cases are all passed on by qualified veterinarians of the department, and their reports are then submitted to the veterinary director general and carefully considered by him.

To give you an idea of the danger of uncooked garbage fed to hogs, a short time ago one of our inspectors, I think during last summer, happened in his ordinary rounds of inspection to visit premises where hogs were kept. Only the day before a young hog had been slightly hurt by other hogs in one of the pens and he had been placed in a temporary pen on the outside to give him a chance to recover. He had sufficiently recovered to be able to walk around, and was able to reach a place where garbage was unloaded and put in the boiling vat. At that particular point were some boards covered by some of this garbage in an uncooked state, and

the little pig was gnawing off what he could of this garbage. The inspector called the owner's attention to it and told him "You will have hog cholera in this pen within a certain number of days." On his return there a few days after, sure enough, he found this little hog dnfected. That shows how infectious the disease is if the rule regarding proper feeding is not strictly observed. Therefore if we are to carry out these regulations we must accept the verdict given by the reliable men whom we have appointed to see to their enforcement.

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UNION

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Unionist

Mr. NESBITT:

I always understood

that whenever hogs were killed on account of hog cholera the owner received compensation, and I have been listening anxiously to know why the minister did not allow compensation in this case. I think the minister is perfectly right in insisting that garbage should be thoroughly cooked before being fed to hogs. That was one mistake made by the owners, the other was in not reporting the disease. As to this latter mistake, it is quite possible that they did not know the hogs were infected, and I would suggest to the minister that it is always wise not to be too strict in matters of this kind, where a man might have erred in ignorance. As an illustration, I may say that I had hog cholera among my own hogs. I knew there was something the matter with them, but I had no more idea than the babe unborn what was the real trouble. I sent for a veterinary, and he diagnosed the case as hog cholera, and immediately sent for an inspector. These hogs of mine were fed with nothing but the best of meal from my own grain and skim milk from my own dairy, and I could not account for the disease, neither could the inspector, nor the veterinary, because there was no hog cholera within fifty miles of us. The only cause we could suggest was that as the railway ran through the paddock these hogs frequented, perhaps some infection from a car of hogs being shipped through might have been washed down upon the track as it slanted into this paddock, and my hogs thus became diseased. In that case I was compensated by the Government-the late Conservative Government. A good many of my hogs from pens that were not quite adjacent to those containing the hogs that were infected when slaughtered showed no signs of cholera at all. I know these people myself, and I

think they are absolutely honest and decent. It is quite evident that they were ignorant of the existence of cholera among their hogs, and I would rather err on the side of clemency than on the side of strict regulation in this case. I rose merely to urge the minister to exercise a little clemency, because the man mention by my hon. friend from South Oxford is not able to stand the loss without some remuneration.

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

I would just like to second the remarks of the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt). I can quite conceive that it is not always possible for a farmer to diagnose cholera at an early stage, and in this case the owner should not be blamed for not reporting it. I quite agree that the minister must accept the advice of his scientific advisers, but when it comes to matters of adjustment, whether in this department or in connection with pensions or anything else, I do not think the final authority should be left to some official who is more or less independent of Parliament and independent of the people. We must take the humane view of it; we cannot stand by and see people ruined, even through their own fault-in this case, probably through ignorance. But it is strange-perhaps there is an explanation of it-that only thirty-three of these hogs were tested and that those thirty-three were found to be fit for the market. Why did they not inspect the rest of them? At least more-perhaps one hundred or one hundred and fifty-might have been found sufficiently free from disease to permit their being disposed of, thus reducing the loss. The fact is that this man has sustained a serious loss apparently through the neglect of an official, who should have determined whether these hogs were or were not fit for consumption. If they were fit for consumption, he should have been allowed to sell them; if they were not, the public should not have been allowed to buy them. I submit that in testing only thirty-three of these animals, selected promiscuously-all of which were found in fit condition-and in simply slaughtering the remainder without compensation to the owner or without determining whether they were in condition for the market, the inspectors have condemned themselves. I would not advise the minister to stand behind a record of that kind, especially if the Government is not going to compensate the owner for his loss. I agree with the member for North Oxford that the minister should take this

matter in his own hands, give it a little human consideration, and see whether it is possible that justice can be done.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

The usual practice in

cleaning up a bunch of hogs affected with cholera is not to hold post mortems on those clinical cases in which the disease is easily discernible. In such cases the animals are destroyed; it is usual to pick out for careful post mortem only those animals which are apparently healthy, to destroy the hogs when lesions are found, and to allow those cases to pass-in which no disease is evident. No doubt this was the course followed by these men; it is the course followed by inspectors everywhere in dealing with outbreaks of hog cholera.

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UNION

Peter McGibbon

Unionist

Mr. McGIBBON (Muskoka) :

May I ask the minister whether it actually was followed? The member for South Oxford says it was not. That is quite important.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

I understand from the

Veterinary Director General that the usual course was followed. However, I will get further information.

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

How many of

these animals were tested by the inspector?

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

What do you mean by

"tested"?

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UNION

Donald Sutherland

Unionist

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Whatever test they apply.

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UNION

Simon Fraser Tolmie (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

Mr. TOLMIE:

There is no test. The animals are slaughtered and a post mortem held in those cases where there are no external symptoms of hog cholera. If you saw a hog waddling along the road with ears red and abdomen red, showing all the symptoms of hog cholera, it would be a waste of time to examine him. A post mortem is held only in those cases where no external symptoms are evident; where the hog appears from an ordinary physical examination to be healthy. Then, if on post mortem lesions of hog cholera are found, the, carcass is condemned, and if entirely free from disease, it is passed. The raising of hogs which are fed on garbage is a very profitable business, because city garbage can be furnished as food at comparatively small expense. Owing to the danger which accompanies the feeding of garbage we insist upon the regulations with regard to cooking, etc., and as the member for North Oxford has pointed out, when a license is taken out the owner agrees that no compensation shall be paid where outbreaks occur on garbage-feeding premises unless he can prove that the disease comes from

some source other than the garbage. He undertakes that before he gets a license to feed the garbage at all, and in this case, although he had reported the disease, and although the garbage was found to be thoroughly cooked, unless he could prove that the disease came from some other source, he would not be entitled to compensation.

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March 17, 1921