Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

23 articles on this Page

A FLOATING TOMB.

[No title]

A PRACTICAL SUGGESTION FOR…

PLANS FOR OBTAINING A DINNER…

THE SPEAKERSHIP OF THE HOUSE…

PERILOUS AND FATAL ADVENTURE…

THE SOLE REMEDY.

News
Cite
Share

THE SOLE REMEDY. Mr. John Algernon Clarke, of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, [n a letter in the Times, furnishes the following facts regard- ing the plague, which is now raging with such terrible force in our. herds of cattle. He also makes some valuable sugges- tions, but, as we insert his letter in extenso, the full force of his observations will be best appreciated by their perusal:- I would lift up my voice against an infatuation which at the present moment seems to possess the British public, and to misdirect the measures of the Government." Because 107,000 cattle attacked are but U per cent. of the estimated number in the country, and because a wholesale slaughtering of lean and young beasts is maintaining the meat supply through a time of panic, the plague is calmly disposed of by our city populations as an affair of the agricultural classes. But it is known that this disease once de- stroyed in Italy between three and four millions of cattle within three years that in the last century it swept off no fewer than 10,000,000 head in France that Russia owns having lost by it, in the present centuryv more than a million of animals within the short space of a twelvemonth; and the speed with which the dread contagion is leaping from farm to farm and leavening our homesteads with death, should excite the profoundest alarm. The statistics will fluc- tuate, of course, from week to week; but grouping into tri-weeklv periods, the 15 weeks of which "re- turns have been published the figures read as follows During the three weeks ending October 28, 4,656 animals were attacked during the next three weeks 7 014 animals during the next 12,794 during the next 20 003 and during the three weeks ending January 20 there were 28,404 fresh cases, revealing a steady rate of progression that, if continued, would obliterate all the herds of Great Britain before the close of the present year. Our horned stock is sup-- rosed to number seven or eight million head, and there are no facts upon which we can build a hope of es- caping a loss of millions—of one-third or one-half, it may be 1 larger proportion -in the absence of a mira- culous specific, or a quarantine able to smother the disease. Now, as our annual production of beeves and veal calves has been estimated at two million head probably worth some 30,000,000 £ with cheese and butter reckoned at 10,000,000^. more, an annihi- lation of half our cattle would at once diramish our yearly production to the extent of 20 millions sterling. But it is a miserable fallacy to suppose that the agri- cultural interest would suffer so much loss of cash, and there be an end of it. In reality, there would be an unredeemed waste of nearly half the present animal subsistence of the nation-a loss, not of ordinary capital, but of beef, veal, and dairy provisions that for years to come could not be replaced. And this view of the case, I think, has escaped certain of our politicians. Even if the plague should content itself with one year's desolation, and not linger long or return again and again before finally sparing a remnant of our stock, several seasons must pass before we could recover our normal meat-producing capability. And increased importation cannot materially compensate for a failure of half our home supply. For the present imports of cattle, sheep, and swine, large as they are, furnish only about a fourth of metropolitan require- ments alone, constituting a mere fractional part of the animal food eaten by the whole community; and is it to be expected that our imports of flesh, living or dead, can be augmented ten times, or even doublet, within a single year ? Not for the farmer's sake, then, but for the interests of the consumers," about which so much has been said, may it npt be worth the nation's while to grapple in earnest with the swift disstminator of ruin, for the salvation of the whole people from scarcity, for averting a possible (I fear inevitalle) meat famine, that may in a few months' time doible the present prices in the shambles ? Now, all authorities on the subject urge,ipon us that, unless instant destruction be decreed ;0 every infected beast, we are but deceived and mccked by manifold limitations of cattle traffic to such and such distances and for such and such purposes, by our licensing the removal of fodder and litter, and by in- numerable and variable regulations zealously itsued in print, but with only a sprinkling of policemen to inter- cept night-travelling droves and detect the smuggling of un-disinfected hides. For vaccination has yet to be established as a panacea; and, while we lack -,ourage to put in action the only proved and decisive renedy,- that of cancelling the germinating units of con- tagion,-what in effect are we doing but mutely surrendering our herd3 to the pestilence. Has the world known a more pitiful example of unvitting innocence than our application of so much fuss and fright, in orders, notices, meetings, deputations, to the end of efficiently sparing the poison at its fountain-head, carefully avoiding to strike where the foe is vulnerable, and even nursing the viper that we feel to be destroying us ? Why, Sir, in common 0 practice throughout the country we are dealing with the plague in this way-When an animal exhibits the fatal symptoms of rejection of food, water spurting from the eyes, the nose assuming a dry, leathery ap- pearance, followed by muscular twitchings, and the arrival of distinctive marks upon lips and gums, we professedly isolate" it (but generally with such loose safeguards as to persons, clothing, fodder, feeding tools, and utensils that the quarantine is worthless) then we allow the animal to grow dangerous with deadly discharges while awaiting the professional visit of an inspector; and then (on the faintest chance of effecting a cure) we proceed to test how the poor victim will last out under some sort of treatment. If we do venture to pronounce sharp sentence on a sick- ening beast, promptly dispatching it by the gun and burying it deep in quick-lime and earth, it is when we have been enlightened considering the mighty power of contagion, when we have some thought of the risk to our neighbours' cattle, or when we voluntarily obey a rule of our Insurance Association. But no man can compel us to de viate from the usual course. Virtually. we are accomplishing this result,-lest our own herd should escape with a few cases, lest our district should be lightly visited with calamity, we determine that each miserable animal before it is reduced to corrup- tion shall guarantee as many millions as possible of the horrible forties that, when once in existence, we know can defy our powers of observation and arrest. And thus, in nearly all the myriad centres where the plague has fallen, with wanton recklessness we are enabling it to propagate through this haple?s kingdom amazing stores of the seed which is assuredly being broadcast to reappear again and again (when and where we may least expect) in dire harvests of death. Except in a scientific sanatorium, and with all the in- genious precautions of a careful experiment, the nursing and physicing of plague patients is the wildest and most hazardous of ventures. While winds blow and birds fly, and a thousand unthought-of carriers of infection are at work, in vain may farmstfads be guarded against the stealthy approach of the pest, if this infernal manufacture is to be deliberately pursued in loosely protected sheds or roughly-built field hospitals through thelength and breadth of our country. Yet all the time that the truism is standing plainly before us that by burying all smitten animals before they become dangerous the spread of the contagion must necessarily increase. And wherefore this suicidal playing with destruc- tion, this criminal rejecting of the known means of deliverance which, by the experience of all countries, Providence has placed in our hands? The plague is ravaging unopposed by the measures that have actually crushed it in certain districts of the kingdom, because we have not settled who shall bear the charge of a two-months' crusade against infection. But, sir, the occasion is urgent; we are pressed by a death-rate frightfully increasing; and if the whole community will not invest one, or it miy be a couple of millions sterling to purchase from the cruel appetite of the enemy perhaps ten or more millions worth of food in one year, with a prospect of a similar redemption for years to come-if the landed interest must bear alone the cost entailed by the culpable mismanage- ment of those who undertook to defend us-money enough would be forthcoming from a light rate, pay- able with an equitable division of the burden, by owners and occupi-rs alike. We cannot rely upon a voluntary ratillz, which all the mean and needy might refuse to honour; and if, therefore, Parliamentary sanction be indispensable, there is no help for it but to wait, with losses of ten or more thousand cattle per week, until an Act is obtained. But, for pity's sake, do not let perish htrd after herd of a lifetime's loving care and patient creation until each separate province in the kinsdom has been prevailed upon, by a tedious process of agitation, to follow the lead of Aberdeen. Let us have no more futile fighting with one head of hydra at a time, so that new jaws of venom may shoot up from each piecemeal excision but let a uniform, simultaneous, and swift wielding of our weapons destroy, as at one stroke, the egregrieus vitality of the monster.

A MODERN HERMIT.

CATTLE FROM URUGUAY.

DEPUTATION TO THE ARCHBISHOP…

THE CATTLE PLAGUE.

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

THE COURT DRESS QUESTION.

[No title]

[No title]

[No title]

AN AFFAIR OF HONOUR!"

THE MARKETS.

A FREE AND EASY WAY OF-DOING…