My understanding is that tattooing has been used voluntarily. Of course the committee understands the relationship of this department to the matter of keeping livestock records in general, including those of dogs. It is not done by the Department of Agriculture, but is done under a recording organization set up by the different breeding associations. I think the Holstein breeders are about the only important breeders of livestock who do not have it done in that way. They have their own registration.
All other kinds of livestock are registered by this organization which is set up by the breeders themselves. I believe we pay a grant of $18,000. It is only that grant which gives us the right to say anything about what is done. The regulations require that these associations shall present their regulations to us. They are not permitted to act under them until we agree or otherwise with the recommendations made.
The present position in relation to dogs is that there has been a discussion as to whether they should be required to tattoo the dogs. Consideration has been given to the point as to whether the method should be changed from a voluntary one to one in which they would be compelled to tattoo. Many of the dog breeders object to the tattooing.
There is another method, not as satisfactory, I believe, in which note is taken of the colour marks of the animals. However, there are so many animals of the same colour that this is not satisfactory. Another system is being advocated at the present time in which the noseprint is taken, in the same way as thumbprints of individuals are taken. It is said that no two dogs have the same noseprints, and it is advocated that this method be used.
The mounted police and others have been consulted in the matter, and my understanding is that a decision is to be made this week as to the recommendation to be made. No
doubt we will agree with whatever recommendation is made, assuming always that the associations themselves are the ones to be satisfied in this matter. However, we are interested in having some method by which we can be fairly certain in respect of the registrations of registered animals.