March 3, 1944

PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

It seems to me this is one of the most important items coming under this branch of the department. The live stock

industry has become perhaps one of the greatest industries in Canada. On a previous occasion and again to-day the minister gave figures to show the rapid increase in poultry production in this country, and I think I am safe in saying that more difficulty is encountered in raising live stock than in any other branch of agriculture. Every year literally millions of dollars are lost to the farmers through different animal diseases. I suppose the minister will say that a large sum of money is provided under the health of animals branch for administration of the Animal Contagious Diseases Act, but it seems to me that more could and should be done for the farmers of Canada from the point of view of research.

A number of animal diseases are prevalent in this country at the present time. First, we have tuberculosis which, however, has been eliminated to a certain extent and is pretty well under control. Then we have Bang's disease, which is causing great loss to our farmers. Unfortunately farmers very often try to hide rather than treat this disease. I understand that serums have been developed and that the policy of the department has been changed to permit the use of such serums, though only two, or three years ago they were not allowed, I suppose for obvious reasons. Even so, however, the manufacture of these serums is largely confined to small areas. I believe the Guelph agricultural college does produce serums for vaccination against Bang's disease, but I think this department might very well undertake the manufacture of such serums or at least see that they are manufactured in plentiful supply. Another bad disease which very much concerns live stock producers in Ontario is what is called shipping fever, or hemorrhagic septicaemia. Farmers buy cattle in the Toronto stockyard, or other places, and take them home for feeding. They must have those animals vaccinated right away, or they may suffer very serious loss, and in some instances that loss is suffered in spite of the vaccination. A farmer brings home a carload of cattle for which he has paid a good price, only to lose one or two from this disease, and I think something should be done to control this disease in the stockyards and in the cars in which these cattle are shipped. Then again we have nutritional diseases in swine; we have poultry diseases; we have parasitic diseases, sheep stomach worms and so on. I feel that I am giving the minister wise advice when I say that a great deal more money should be provided for research purposes along these lines. After all, the loss from these causes amounts to millions of

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dollars, and I would ask the minister what is being done particularly in regard to Bang's disease and hemorrhagic septicaemia.

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LIB

George Ernest Wood

Liberal

Mr. WOOD:

Before the minister replies I should like to add a word to the observations made by the hon. member for Haldimand, who has brought up a matter of vital importance to the farmers of Ontario. Farming in this country would be made much easier if something could be done about the diseases which have been mentioned by the hon. member, but I should like to add to the list the disease of mastitis, which is causing the dairymen serious loss. I believe there are certain fields that might be investigated in connection with the control of that disease. Some serums have been used for a time and have appeared to be quite successful, but later they have been found to be of very little value. It seems to me one of the greatest hazards with which the farmer has to contend.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

That is, the dairy farmer.

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LIB

George Ernest Wood

Liberal

Mr. WOOD:

Yes. Then it seems to me that some research should be done in connection with pullorum, a disease which attacks poultry, and that a serum might be developed which would create immunity to this disease, because we know that certain flocks have become immune to it. The present method of having to blood test every chicken to find out whether its eggs should be retained is laborious work; but if a flock could be made immune it would mean a great deal to the farmer. I believe it to be a fact that pullorum can never be stamped out. Sparrows have it; pigeons have it, and they more or less mix with the farm flock, so that it would seem futile to try to eradicate the disease unless we are prepared to wipe out all the wild birds. I believe, however, that an effort might be made to develop a serum which would give immunity to the disease, and if that could be done it would be a great step in the right direction.

There is another matter to which I think the department should give some attention, namely, the protection of pure bred breeders in connection with a system of breeding which is becoming quite popular in many sections; that is, artificial insemination. This will lend itself to a great deal of fraud if something is not done to give authority to certain men to practise in this particular field. Many farmers assert that they can carry on this work just as well as anyone else. I believe, however, it should be confined to a certain number of people, so that they will have some authority to sign a certificate, thereby ensuring that the mating of those animals has not been done fraudulently, and so that there would be sires of calves which would set up a system of artificial insemination.

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CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WRIGHT:

I should like to add my voice to those of other hon. members who have spoken with respect to the advisability of increasing or supplementing this important vote. To my mind it is a most important one. Our live stock industry has greatly increased, and with that increase there has been an advance in the incidence of disease among live stock. Among hogs in western Canada in the last two years, because of increased production we have found an increased development in disease. That disease may have been in existence before, but we had not had it on our farms. I know many farmers have become discouraged and are going out of hog production because certain diseases have cropped up. I believe that there should be more investigation and that any information the department has should receive wider circulation than it now receives.

In my view the circulation of such information might be done through municipal offices in western Canada. The people in those offices are interested in our farming population, and the information could be distributed through them. I would urge that there be more investigation in connection with hog diseases. There is a loss of from twenty-five per cent to thirty per cent in young pigs, and I believe that half of that might be saved if there were a little more knowledge on the part of people who are in production. It is a matter of being penny wise and pound foolish, if we do not have more work along this line, and have a greater distribution of information.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I would first answer the question asked by the hon. member for Haldimand with regard to Bang's disease. This is a matter which has been discussed each year since I have been in the department. The story is simply one of advancement in treatment, and attempting to deal with the attack this disease has made upon cattle in Canada. It has been determined that the vaccination of calves during calf-hood, particularly if they are vaccinated at from four to six months of age, gives a considerable amount of defence against invasion of the causative organism of Bang's disease. This is being made use of in a practical manner in controlling infectious abortion. It can only assist and will never replace sanitary measures.

Along with this comes the question of the possibility of vaccinating mature cattle with strains of low virulence. Since the organisms introduced must be alive, there is the possibility that these may colonize in the animal and produce the disease, and result in abortion

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or permanent infection. Experiments of considerable proportions are under way in regard to this subject, and it is hoped that in the relatively early future this factor in Bang's disease particularly will be clearly understood.

That is the end of the review of what is being done, and the results that have been obtained from the experiments carried on up to date. I may say that the practice of marking animals which have once been found to have Bang's disease was brought into effect the first year I was Minister of Agriculture. They are marked with a "B" in the ear, and anyone who is buying cattle can knew that they have been tested, and that they have shown reaction.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

Would the minister say that the blood test which is made can be relied upon in all cases?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Yes, we rely upon it in all cases. There may be mistakes occasionally, but it is just as reliable as tests made for tuberculosis.

With regard to mastitis, I may say that experiments are continuing. Our studies with the various chemo-therapeutic agents which have been suggested have not given encouraging results, except when they are used in the very early stages of infection. So far as our studies have advanced they suggest that the control of economic loss from mastitis must be done by sanitary measures, together with chemotherapy in the early infection.

Shipping fever has been given considerable attention in our laboratories. This is a disease which is generally considered as being due to the causative agent of haemorrhagic septicaemia, and appears to have a much wider etiological cause. We suspect, although we have not been able to prove it, that it is associated with a virus. At any rate, we can say that clinically shipping fever is not always due to the causative agent of haemorrhagic septicaemia, and that vaccination with this organism is not a satisfactory method of control. That experience we have had with it up to the present time.

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PC

Mark Cecil Senn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SENN:

But it is the only control there is, is it not?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Yes; it is the only control known at the present time.

The other question, as to the spread of disease among live stock, and particularly among hogs, owing to the fact that more farmers are raising hogs, and raising them in greater numbers, is one which is being taken care of, as far as is possible, through cooperation with the provincial authorities. That is to say, we have our men out working on it, and the provincial

authorities have their men. We cover the different rural districts from time to time, and everything which can be done to assist farmers is being done; that is, everything that can be done with the expenditure of money we are now making.

The question as to whether expenditures should be increased is one which is always involved in building up our estimates. During war time we do not think we can spend any more than we are now spending. I quite realize it may be said in answer that probably we would be doing a great deal more for production of meat, and that kind of thing, by that method than by some other method. But there is the difficulty that we have a shortage of qualified men to act in the outlying districts, largely because for a long period of time it has not paid very well for men to take up the studies of a veterinary. The result is that we have not had as many as we could use, particularly with the number of stock spread across Canada. Probably there is not as much being done as might be done in that regard-

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Would the minister

consent to reverting to item 5? I should like to read a statement of the figures to which I referred a moment ago, so that it may be correct in Hansard. I went to my office to get the figures, and I now read from the submission of the Alberta cooperative sugar beet growers' association to the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations, commonly known as the Rowell-Sirois commission. This is what I find at page 2:

To indicate the value of this industry-

And this is a reference to the sugar beet industry-

-to the agriculture of our district, the community in general and the Dominion of Canada, we submit the following figures relating to the 1937 beet crop:

235,481 tons of beets were produced from 19,829 acres of irrigated land-an average of 11-88 tons per acre.

75,603,700 pounds of sugar were manufactured.

3,813 pounds was the per acre yield of refined sugar. ,

$3,040,000 worth of sugar was manufactured.

$155 was the total gross return per acre.

$77.50 was the gross return to the manufacturer.

$77.50 was the gross return per acre to the farmer.

The farmers' costs approximated $60 per acre which includes $25 per acre paid for hand labour by the farmer. These figures were given in a speech made by T. George Wood, manager, Canadian Sugar Factories Limited, at Lethbridge, Wednesday, March 23, 1938. We believe that this land is producing more food value per acre than any other land in the dominion.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

What became of the rest of the $155? The farmers' cost was approximately $60.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

The rest of it Would be income on irrigated land.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The cost of operating irrigated lands.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I shall go into this in greater detail if the minister desires.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Those figures show a gross return of $155 an acre and the farmer's costs approximate $60 an acre. Would that be labour?

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

The farmer's costs approximate $60 an acre, which includes $25 an acre for hand labour.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

That other figure of $77.50, was that the profit of the refinery?

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

The farmer was getting $77.50 and the refinery was getting $77.50. The farmer's net would be $77.50 less $60 or $17.50.

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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

Could the minister give us the total value of cattle destroyed on account of Bang's disease since he became minister?

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March 3, 1944