May 17, 1946

CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

What guarantee has the purchaser of canned goods that he will get the same quality of goods according to the grade marked on the can in Ontario as he would in British Columbia? What supervision is there with regard to quality?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Can we leave that until we reach the marketing item?

Mr. TOWNLEY-SMITH: The other day, under the heading of "animal pathologists", I drew the attention of the minister to the fact that we are very short of veterinary surgeons, and he suggested that the subject be left over until we reached this item. I would repeat my question now. Will the minister not consider giving more encouragement to students in universities to take up veterinary science by way of offering scholarships and offering veterinary students work after they have. graduated ? .

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

We have been giving consideration to this question but no policy has yet been worked out.

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LIB

John Watson MacNaught

Liberal

Mr. MacNAUGHT:

I am in emphatic agreement with what the hon. member for North Battleford has said, and in that connection may I read a paragraph from Maclean's Magazine from its "Cross Country" section. It says:

Prince Edward Island's 100,000 head of cattle have to share one doctor. So the province is scouting all Canada, to induce veterinarians to settle there. Premier J. Walter Jones, himself a farmer, estimated there is room for at least 10 veterinarians on the island.

The situation was forcibly brought to official notice when the milk and meat inspector of the city of Charlottetown died this spring. No veterinarian could be found to take his place. The situation might have been serious had not the provincial veterinarian, whose office and laboratory are in Charlottetown, offered to take the work.

I believe that statement to be essentially correct and, if it is, a serious situation exists. I would urge upon the minister to do everything in his power to alleviate that situation by following the suggestions made by the hon. member for North Battleford to accelerate courses and offer scholarships and inducements to students of veterinary science.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

What are the annual requirements of the department through the retirement or death of veterinarians?

Mr. GiVRDINER: The normal wastage is between twenty-five and thirty a year, and we are not getting that number at present.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

I wish to support what other hon. members have urged in this matter. The total number of graduate veterinarians from our colleges last year was at its lowest point, between twenty and twenty-five. It is important that the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government should face up to this problem. The Saskatchewan department of agriculture is offering a few scholarships. Since this is a matter in

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which the federal government are also directly-interested, I think they should go along with the provincial government and match its payments dollar for dollar to see that this gap between the demand and supply is bridged.

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PC

William Gourlay Blair

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLAIR:

At the last session of the house I drew the attention of the committee to the widespread prevalence of Bang's disease across Canada and to the fact that many people were becoming affected with undulant fever. The minister said at that time that when the estimates came up this year he would try to do something about the matter.

I again point out that the medical profession have still no cure for undulant fever. We have nothing whatever that will cure it. There is still no cure for Bang's disease, but we have prevention for Bang's disease, and that is calfhood vaccination. There is a list of casualties from undulant fever every year throughout this country, and the only means we have of controlling undulant fever is by calfhood vaccination. Our farmers are experiencing a great many losses of cattle through Bang's disease, and undulant fever is causing many casualties among human beings. The only measure of relief we have, and the only way of controlling undulant fever is by calfhood vaccination. There is no doubt that calfhood vaccination is really an effective remedy, but the trouble in Canada is that there is no unified effort because the regulations vary in each province. I will list the conditions in each province so far as Bang's disease is concerned.

In Ontario the work of controlling the disease has been placed directly under the Ontario agricultural college. An extensive programme of calf vaccination is under way, with strain 19, in an attempt to eradicate the disease from the province.

In Manitoba some funds are provided for vaccination of calves in pure bred herds by qualified veterinarians. -

In Saskatchewan there is calfhood vaccination, with Cotton's strain 19, for herds supplying milk to villages and towns without protection by pasteurization.

Alberta has also had calfhood vaccination since 1944, following a request from the western stock growers' association.

British Columbia has no special legislation.

In Quebec Bang's disease is controlled by the live stock sanitary law, and there are

5,000 listed herds, with 551 herds badly contaminated. For a- small fee owners of herds can have their herds tested under an agreement. The vaccination plan is used for contaminated herds.

Nova Scotia has no protective legislation. Many herd owners are doing their own vaccination.

Prince Edward Island has no legislation.

In New Brunswick there are restricted control areas, but there is a shortage of qualified veterinaries and inspectors to carry out the programme.

In regard to the efficacy of Cotton's strain 19 vaccine, I quote from the report of Doctor Welsh, director of the animal research division of Lederle Laboratories, Pearl River, New York, which is one of the largest laboratories in the United States. This article appeared in the Holstein-Friesian Journal of February of this year:

The recent report by Winter of New York state confirms the findings of others in that some vaccinated animals continue to show a positive blood reaction for many months after being vaccinated.

This should not be taken as a reason why calfhood vaccination should not be carried on, as he shows later. I continue the quotation:

His findings and others indicate that, on the average, calves vaccinated at the age of six months, give the best results. Calves vaccinated at four months of age or under usually do not establish a very high degree of resistance. Calves vaccinated at eight months or above retain their positive blood reaction for a prolonged time. The New York records, reported by Winter, on calfhood vaccination was in herds having 15 to 47 per cent infection. Of the animals vaccinated at six months of age, about 60 per cent were negative on blood tests six months later. At the twelfth month following vaccination, or when the animals were about eighteen months of age, at least 80 per cent of those vaccinated were negative and in some herds as many qs 90 per cent were negative. When these animals reached breeding age, they were bred, regardless of whether they showed a vaccination titer or were negative. Approximately 31 per cent of these animals vaccinated as calves were showing a positive blood reaction at two years of age but they found that the reaction receded during the first lactation period and that less than one per cent still remained positive at the time of the second freshening.

That would indicate that calfhood vaccination is effective. We should use any means at hand to control this disease.

As a physician I am concerned about undulant fever, and I as especially concerned over the apathy and listlessness with which this subject is approached by the department. This is the only cure we have. Something must be done. Therefore I say that calfhood vaccination should be compulsory on the strength of the records of the herds using it and on the strength of the records of the states where calfhood vaccination has been in vogue for some time. I think we can accept these records and particularly the record of the Ontario agricultural college, where Ontario is undertaking a mass programme. But if the different provinces have no set regulation, and it is done in a haphazard way in one province, contamination will be car-

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ried from one province to the other by animals shipped from one province to the other. So tha-t the whole aflair, to be effective, must be dominion-wide, and I suggest to the minister, and repeat, that I am much concerned about the undulant fever, let alone the tremendous loss to the live stock owner, and feel that we must do something about the matter and make calfhood vaccination compulsory.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I greatly appreciate the contribution which the hon. member who has just taken his seat has made. My suggestion would be that the Minister of Agriculture for the dominion should call together in council the provincial ministers of agriculture; that this matter should be discussed and a definite policy arrived at which would be accepted by all the provinces, and that then there should be an immediate drive, which would produce results. In my opinion this disease has gone altogether too far to be reassuring.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHARLTON:

Is the minister going to make a statement on this?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I should just like to join with the hon. member for Lethbridge in saying that the statement is a valuable one. A similar statement was made a year ago by the hon. member for Lanark, and I expressed my appreciation of it at the time. I quite agree with him that there is only one way by which we shall be able to attack the problem successfully, and that is by a policy somewhat similar to the one we have with regard to tuberculosis. We are not ready to proceed with it this year but it is being given consideration.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Has the minister

given thought to the possibility of publicizing this matter by radio broadcasts over the dominion, or has something of this sort been done? I doubt whether people in general understand sufficiently the seriousness of this problem.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I really think it is understood by those who are raising live stock, or the great majority of them; but, as has been emphasized this evening, it is just, three years ago since we accepted the calfhood vaccine. It has been used in the United States for some time, but our experts here did not officially accept it as a preventive until just three years ago. Since that time information with regard to it has been widely circulated. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why it was officially accepted was that a great many people in Canada were writing in daily or weekly insisting on its being accepted,

indicating that they knew something about it. Medical men, such as the hon. member who has just spoken to us, have been urging that something more be done about it than is being done, because, after all, as I understand it, this disease can be transferred to human beings-which is much more serious than the animal itself having the disease.

The same thing was true of tuberculosis. That is why we took such an active part in fighting tuberculosis; but there is an additional feature of it, that when I came here first, the first delegation I had in the department was a group of breeders from Ontario who were objecting strenuously to the e-xtent to which we were trying to regulate Bang's disease. As a matter of fact, they succeeded in having us undo some of what we had been doing. We were compelling any man who had undulant fever in his herd to stamp a big B on the cheek of the animal; but we were compelled by pressure to put the B in the ear, where it was harder to see. That was the attitude of persons who themselves were interested. We refused to make the B off altogether. The situation to-day is a little different. People have been educated up to the seriousness of the disease, just as a few years ago they were educated up to the seriousness of tuberculosis in cattle. I think we are getting nearer to the time when we can do something similar to what has been done with tuberculosis; but, again, it involves these larger staffs of veterinarians in order to put the policy in effect. Just as soon as we can see our way through it, some policy will be developed.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHARLTON:

I have enjoyed very much the discussion which took place earlier this evening in which western members took part. I can only assure hon. members from the west that I personally was having a good laugh over it and I think most of the eastern farmers are good-natured enough not to have any ill-feeling as a result of some of the remarks which have been made.

Regarding the health of animals branch, I said certain things last fall which included some observations with regard to salaries in the civil service, mainly the health of animals branch, which branch I mentioned specifically.

I am glad to see there have been some changes in this department, not only in respect of salaries but in the reclassification of some of the inspectors. But I am doubtful whether sufficient has yet been done to get men to come into the service, and I am quite worried about the situation. After I talked to several of these boys, some of whom are in grades which have been reclassified, they wonder whether

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it is worth while for them to remain in the minister's department. If they decide that it is not, and we lose more of the veterinarians now working in that branch, the situation will become that much more serious than it is. As matters stand to-day, I understand, according to the estimates, that there are still some men getting less than $2,400 who are working in this service. Is that so?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

All the men who are now coming in are starting at $2,400.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHARLTON:

I realize that is so, but I am asking the question, are there any in the service who are still getting less than $2,400?

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

I believe they are all getting not less than $2,400.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHARLTON:

According to the estimates, there are a few who are still below $2,400. That is why I asked the question. It so happens that a man who joins the service now, starting at $2,400, could easily in four years rise to the same salary as a man who has been in the service for twelve or fourteen years. It would appear unfortunate that that is the case. I realize that ability must count. It is difficult for the civil service commission to get a true picture of what this whole salary schedule should be. But one thing definite in my mind is that men in the field, in charge of districts, who are doing as much and probably have as much responsibility as men in charge of packing plants, are not getting the salary that the man in charge of a packing plant is receiving. Personally I do not see any reason why there could not be some overlapping of the salary set-up which would give a stimulus to the man in the field who is performing this important service, so that he would have something to look forward to. As it is now, I believe the maximum for that particular grade would be $3,300.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

Just to put the record straight, may I say that I understand the men in the field now do get as much as the men in the packing plants if they are in charge of' a district. That is under the new arrangement. What is being stated was true up until recently.

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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHARLTON:

It has been quite recent?

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LIB

May 17, 1946