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23 and carried the contagion from the infected pens to the Buffalo yards. These animals, with others, were reshipped to Danville and Watsontown, Pa., where the disease afterwards appeared. From Buffalo the disease also spread to other points in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. The outbreak in Maryland was due to cattle shipped from Buffalo to Glenrock, Pa., and there sold at public sale November 2, 1908.
COST OF ERADICATING THE DISEASE.
The cost to the United States Department of Agriculture of eradicating the disease was just kept within the special appropriations aggregating $300,000 made by Congress for that purpose, the expenditures charged against those appropriations amounting to $299,112.10. If there should be added to this a proportionate share of the Bureau's general expenses paid from other appropriations-as, for instance, salaries of certain employees who were paid from regular appropriations, but who gave more or less of their time to this work in connection with their regular duties, also supplies and incidental expenses paid for from regular appropriations-the total cost of the Federal work would be increased somewhat beyond $300,000. If the disease had not been so promptly suppressed and if further cases had been found it would have been necessary to ask Congress for additional funds in order to continue the fight against the contagion.
The authorities of the four affected States report that they expended in their part of the work about $113,000, as follows: Pennsylvania, about $78,000; New York, at least $30,000; Michigan, nearly $4,000; Maryland, $911.90.
The loss to the dairy and stock-raising industries and to commerce was heavy. Many dairymen were put out of business for a time, and not only was interstate traffic in live stock, hides, hay, straw, etc., interfered with, but exports to foreign countries, especially to Great Britain, were seriously curtailed.
COMMENDATION OF EMPLOYEES.
The fidelity, energy, and fine spirit of self-sacrifice shown by the members of the Bureau force who were engaged in the eradication of the disease can not be too highly commended. These men deserve to be mentioned by name, but the list would be too long. Men engaged in the regular work of the Bureau in various parts of the country were hurriedly ordered to the infected regions, and such orders met with prompt and cheerful obedience, even though in many cases the circumstances were such as to cause great inconvenience and hardship and sometimes financial loss. The work was arduous
and often disagreeable, the hours were long, the accommodations sometimes uncomfortable and the food unsatisfactory, and many of the men had to spend the Christmas season away from their homes and families. And yet each one seemed to feel his duty and responsibility, and the work was done faithfully, cheerfully, intelligently, thoroughly, and rapidly. The stock raisers and the commercial interests of the country are under a heavy debt of obligation to these public servants whose fine work kept the losses to a minimum and prevented the spread of the disease to other parts of the country where the damage would have been enormous.
COMPARISON OF LAST TWO OUTBREAKS.
It is interesting to compare the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease with that which occurred in New England in 1902-3. In the New England outbreak cases were found in 12 counties in 4 States, namely, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. In the outbreak of 1908 the infection was distributed over a much larger region, comprising 23 counties in the 4 States of Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, and Maryland. A larger number of animals. were slaughtered, however, during the New England outbreak, namely, 4,461, as against 3,636 in the recent outbreak. Although the disease was of a somewhat mild type, the later outbreak was a much greater menace to the live-stock interests of the country, as it penetrated farther into the interior and came closer to the great stockraising regions.
When we consider the enormous losses caused by foot-and-mouth disease in countries where it has gained a foothold and that some of the European governments have struggled with it unsuccessfully for years, our own country is to be congratulated on the fact that every outbreak here has been promptly stamped out with comparatively slight damage. So quickly and effectively has the work been done that it is doubtful if many of our people realize the magnitude of the danger that has threatened our live-stock industry.
The results have shown the wisdom of the rigorous slaughtering policy adopted in this country. Such methods might be impracticable if the disease became so widespread that slaughter would involve the destruction of too large a part of the country's supply of live stock; but so long as the infection is restricted to a comparatively small part of the country's area there is no question that the slaughter policy is the best. To temporize with a restricted outbreak by relying entirely upon quarantine and treatment would very probably allow infection to spread beyond control, with disastrous results.
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LIVE
THE LIVE-STOCK MARKET IN 1908.
The main feature of the live-stock market situation in 1908 was the continued scarcity and high prices of beef cattle. The table of average prices of animals at the Chicago Stock Yards (on page 395) shows that the other food animals-hogs, sheep, and lambs-all averaged less in the quotations than they did in 1907, but the high prices of 1907 mounted still higher for all classes of cattle. Excluding International show cattle, the highest point reached by native steers in 1908 was $8.40 per hundredweight in June, in which month also both the heifer and range steer classes touched their high mark, $7.50. The yearly average for cattle was 30 cents higher in 1908 than in 1907. On the other hand, the annual average for hogs fell 45 cents a hundredweight, while sheep fell 60 cents and lambs 70 cents.
The decrease in the cattle supply not only restricted the home markets; it seriously undermined the foreign trade as well, as is more fully explained later on in the section dealing with imports and exports.
There are a number of things that point to the scarcity of the beef supply in 1908, namely: (1) The decrease in the nation's stock of beef cattle; (2) decrease in the receipts of cattle at principal stock centers; (3) decrease in the number of cattle inspected at slaughter by Government inspectors; (4) increase in price of live cattle; (5) increase in wholesale price of dressed beef; (6) increase in price of feed.
More specific information regarding the above points will be briefly stated as follows:
1. The annual estimates of the Bureau of Statistics, Department of Agriculture, show that the decrease in beef cattle in the last two years amounted to 2.187.000 animals.
2. Total receipts of cattle at Chicago in 1908 were 3,039,206, as against 3,305,314 in 1907. At Kansas City the figures were 2,154,338 in 1908 and 2,384,294 in 1907. Reports from other centers tell the same story.
3. The total number of cattle slaughtered under Government inspection in 1908 was 7.279,271; in 1907 the number was 7,633,365.
a Compiled mainly by John Roberts, of the Editorial Office, Bureau of Animal Industry.
This decrease is all the more striking because the inspection was conducted at a larger number of establishments in 1908 than in 1907.
4. The annual average price of native steers at Chicago for 1908 was $6.10 per hundredweight, the average for 1907 being $5.80 (see page 395 for this and other prices).
5. Wholesale prices of dressed beef at Chicago and New York were much higher throughout last year than they were in 1907 (see page 398 for monthly prices of beef at these cities).
6. The high price of feed naturally has a deterrent effect on the fattening industry. As an example of the high prices it may be stated that contract corn ranged between 56 and 82 cents in 1908. whereas the range for the previous year was 393 to 663 cents.
The foregoing facts seem to indicate unmistakably that there was considerably less beef produced in 1908 than formerly. When, therefore, we have a continuous increase in the number of home consumers and no corresponding increase in the supply, but a decided decrease instead, it is inevitable that a rapid change in the market status of the product must come about.
It may be of interest to quote here the annual estimates by the Bureau of Statistics, Department of Agriculture, showing the total number and valuation of the different classes of farm animals in the country. From these it appears, as above pointed out, that "other cattle" (beef cattle) have steadily declined in the last two years, whereas, with the single exception of swine on January 1, 1909, all the other classes of animals have uniformly increased. The magnitude of our national live-stock interests is well illustrated in the last column of the table, which shows that the total valuation of animals on farms January 1, 1909, reached the enormous sum of $4,525,259,000. The estimated numbers of farm animals for the last three years, together with the latest valuation, are as follows:
Estimated annual number of farm animals in the United States, 1907 to 1909, with valuation for 1909.
The series of tables next following shows the prevailing prices paid for live stock at Chicago, the principal stock center. The first statement gives the average prices of the various classes of food animals by months for 1908 and annually for a series of years. The other
tables show the high and low range of the quotations, also prices of the different market classes of horses.
Average prices, per hundredweight, of live stock at Chicago in 1908, by months, and annual average, 1897–1908. [From the Weekly Live Stock Report.]
Range of prices, per hundredweight, of cattle at Chicago in 1908, by months, and annual range, 1897-1908.
[Compiled from report of Union Stock Yard and Transit Company.]
Thursday, December 3, 1908, fifty-three carloads of International Exposition "show cattle sold in the auction at $7 to $13, or an average of $9 per 100 pounds, the highest on record. Forty-nine loads of "fat steers averaged $9.12; three loads of "short-fed "
steers went at $7 to $7.70 and a load of heifers $8. Twenty-seven of the fifty-three loads were yearlings which averaged $9.35.