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Samples actually subjected to this kitchen treatment have been found to contain bacteria running into the millions. Warm kitchens whether in farmhouses or elsewhere, do not afford desirable surroundings for the proper storage of milk. Producers should properly protect supplies in winter as well as in summer.
This demand for better conditions at dairies is already manifesting itself in increased interest in the health of the stock, from which milk is obtained; and in the future this inquiry on the part of consumers is destined to become more persistent and pronounced. This attitude on the part of the public is encouraging and indicative of coming insistence upon commendable surroundings for all milk production and handling. Here a pertinent query presents itself. Will it not be advantageous for those who are supplying milk to the public to forestall the inevitable, rather than to await the forcing of the issue by popular sentiment? There can be no question as to there being ample ground for public concern in the health of cows employed in milk production, in fact the only surprising feature is that this attitude has been so long delayed. A partial investigation covering a period of over four years, and unsatisfactory by reason of the demands of a busy office, disclosed nevertheless abundant evidence for the assertion that there is gross carelessness on the part of many milk producers as to the physical condition of their stock. Milk from gargety animals, and from others with apparent udder complications, or from other pronounced abnormalities, is frequently sent to market as though it was drawn from healthy stock. Unfortunately such milk does not usually possess characteristics whereby casual observation discloses its true condition, and unless detected by laboratory investigation, it is consumed by the public, and oftentimes, no doubt, to the detriment of physical welfare.
The undesirability of sending milk from diseased animals to market has not impressed itself upon the majority of dairymen. It has been necessary in many instances to resort to compulsory measures to secure the results desired. This state of affairs is significant, and demonstrates the protection which consumers secure when the question of products from unhealthy animals is entrusted entirely to the owners of the stock. Apparently if any consideration is given the subject, it is from the narrow and selfish standpoint of self-interest, which takes the form of unwillingness to lose a few cents' worth of milk, even though the health of human beings may be endangered by its subsequent use. It is difficult to draw any other conclusion, as many of these abnormal specimens are from animals where cursory examination shows their unfitness for milk production. That consumers are not given the protection which they have a right to expect, has been demonstrated on numerous occasions by the investigations which followed the finding of contaminated milk specimens. It is time that this condition was corrected, where the physical condition of cows shows their unfitness for milk production. Much progress has already been made in this respect by inaugurating a policy of exclusion, but greater efforts should be put forth to compel dairymen to keep from their milk supply the product of all animals not free from suspicion. That such a course has been made necessary is not a state of affairs tending towards increasing the consumption of milk: it is a condition discreditable to producers. Consumers have a right to expect alertness from farmers in guarding their health at all times, and in what more practical manner can this protection be shown than by not sending to market milk from diseased cows?
This is not done, however, in all instances, and a recent case of such neglect undoubtedly produced illness in two young children, whose principal diet was milk. Investigation showed that the milk was from a cow which had an injured teat and the milk from the other three quarters of the udder, which was being used by the children above noted, contained much pus. To make this condition much worse, the morning of the day that this matter was investigated, a new man in charge of the milking had put the milk from all four teats into the supply. None of the milk should have been employed for food at any time after the cow injured herself. This was a repetition of what has occurred many times since 1905. Well may consumers lose faith in those producing milk, when such conditions are constantly arising. Dairymen have it in their power to materially reduce the amount of milk infected with pus organisms. That it is not done demonstrates their disregard for the consumer's interest, and the necessity for greater discrimination on the part of purchasers in the choice of those who supply them with milk.
The matter of the tuberculous cow is an engrossing topic, and one destined in the future to arouse great public interest; and while it appeals strongly to consumers, the latter, according to present indications, are not to be allowed to monopolize the subject, as many progressive dairymen are either discussing it or have had their herds freed from diseased animals. Boards of health have already taken action in this matter, and the example of the health authorities of Montclair, New Jersey, have already been followed by Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and by no less than nine cities in Wisconsin. In this latter state, Milwaukee has been a leader, and is already in litigation with antagonistic dairymen, with excellent chances of the authorities winning in the attempt at milk supply purification, by demanding the tuberculin test. At present, according to Russell and Hoffman,* "over 25 per cent of the population of the state” of Wisconsin will be protected by ordinances of this character, if properly enforced. But Wisconsin's endeavors in this direction have not been confined to the adoption of regulations demanding the exclusion of milk from tuberculous cows, as during the last three years the Agricultural Experiment Station, the State Live Stock Sanitary
*Bulletin No. 175, Russell & Hoffman. A three-year campaign against tuberculosis,
Board, and the State Veterinarians have coöperated and engaged in an energetic campaign against tuberculous animals; and with such success, with the sentiment already existing in the state, that the dairymen with clean herds are beginning to reap the reward of their wisdom. The results of this work are such as to carry the commendable conviction that much progress has been made in eliminating tuberculous animals from many of the herds of that state. In one instance* all the farmers of a county became interested in this subject, and as a result every herd in that territory was tested with tuberculin, a condition which it would probably be impossible to parallel in any county largely devoted to dairying of any state in the Union.
Is not Wisconsin activity in this crusade against disease worthy of emulation in other states, and would it not be the part of wisdom for the health authorities and dairymen of the New England States to consider this subject with greater seriousness than has been devoted to it in the past? Is each state doing all it should in this matter of tuberculous animals, and is there that coöperation of officials in any state, which brings the best results? Is there any semblance of coöperation between the several states in dealing with the problem, or is each state pursuing an independent course regardless of consequences to its neighbors? If so, would not some degree of uniformity be worthy of consideration ? Uniform automobile laws have been advocated, why not a uniform method of handling the question of bovine tuberculosis? If we cannot have uniform laws, at least adopt a work-together policy equitable to all concerned.
It is time the inertia surrounding this subject was cast aside; the issue is a live one and is daily becoming more active; it affects no one community alone, but bears upon all alike, and by reason of this fact no section can afford to view it with disregard. The value of the tuberculin test, as compared to physical examination, the question of indemnity by the state to farmers for loss of stock, or whether the latter should stand the loss for condemned animals, the segregation of tuberculous animals not badly diseased for breeding purposes and so that their milk may be used commercially after heating in some one of the different ways, are questions worthy of consideration, but time should not be lost over differences of opinion to the detriment of the main issue ; namely, progress and adequate protection to consumers wherever located.
Is it not the part of wisdom to exercise foresight in this matter, assume an advanced position, free herds from unhealthy stock, rather than to be driven to the step by public sentiment, or what may seem to those unwilling to coöperate, oppressive legislation ? No farming community can longer afford to ignore the question of healthy cattle as a source of dairy products, and those who neglect this view will eventually be confronted with financial disaster.
*Bulletin No. 175. Russell & Hoffman.
A three-year campaign against tuberculosis,
Averill states that* "a tuberculous animal in a herd of cows is a source of danger to its herd-mates and a curse to its owner and should be removed at once to protect the health of the other animals and also of the owner and his family and of the public which consumes the milk from the herd."
Any stigma which attaches to a producer in any section is shared to a degree by his neighbors; in fact, suspicion attaches to all engaged in a similar business. Is not the lesson to be learned from this, that conditions governing dairies, whether of health of animals or of cleanliness, are of importance to the producing as well as to the consuming community, and that the oversight of this commodity has an important bearing upon the welfare of the community in which the milk was produced? There can be no question of the soundness of this contention, or of difference as to the proper course for solving the problem, namely, that each state should have an active oversight of all milk produced within its borders, regardless of where it is to be consumed or the form of dairy product it is to assume. This is a matter of importance to the Boston supply, where dependence to a large extent has to be placed upon out-of-state milk. At present, when adverse conditions are discovered, or when there is a question of quality with milk from outside the state, demands for improvement are oftentimes met with the statement that nothing can be done, as the authorities of the state from which the milk came take no action in such matters. No doubt this assertion is oftentimes groundless, but where it has foundation, we of the city are to an extent helpless, unless there is total disregard as to the amount of milk necessary for the daily supply. Neither the authorities nor the contractors can deal with this condition unaided by out-of-state authorities, as the three states from which most of the out-of-state milk is obtained are honeycombed with creameries, and where demands from Boston for new conditions are obnoxious to dairymen, the latter simply transfers his supply to a creamery or sends it to a nearby city of his own state. This condition of affairs places a premium upon independence for the filthy producer, and is a matter which can only be successfully controlled by the authorities of the state where the adverse surroundings exist. Furthermore it cannot be successfully contended that there is not good reason for milk production to be safeguarded, regardless of its use as milk, cream, butter or cheese. No milk should be produced under conditions which will not withstand the closest scrutiny.
The Wisconsin Senate and Assembly of 1909 held this view, and adopted an act defining “milk” to mean the product of “one or more healthy cows, properly fed and kept.” Unsanitary milk was declared to be "milk which shall be drawn from cows that are kept in barns or stables which are not reasonably w lighted and ventilated, or are kept in barns
*Report of Herman 0. Averill, Commissioner on Domestic Animals, Connecticut, 1907 and 1908.
or stables that are filthy from an accumulation of animal feces and excreta or from any other cause; or milk which shall be drawn from cows which are themselves in a filthy condition; or milk kept or transported in dirty, rusty, or open-seamed cans or other utensils; or milk that is stale, putrescent, or putrid; or milk to which has been added any unclean or unwholesome foreign substance; or milk which has been kept exposed to foul or noxious air or gases in barns occupied by animals, or kept exposed in dirty, foul, or unclean places or conditions.” Cream from any such unsanitary milk is declared to be “unsanitary cream.” The sale of unsanitary milk and cream is prohibited, as is also their manufacture into any article of food for man.
In adopting this legislation, Wisconsin has taken an advanced stand; one which cannot fail to aid the clean milk issue and at the same time accrue to the financial advantage of her dairymen. The dairy interests of New England would do well to display equal wisdom, and procure such progressive legislation in the several states as would not only free milk products from adverse comment, but afford the public confidence therein.
At the present time, however, there can be no question that criticism would be justifiable in many instances, but such a stigma is an asset which is destined to mean more than financial disaster to the dairy interests of any state. It is a handicap which should be spurned by vigor of action, and not by argument, regardless of geographical location.
Dairymen have fallen into the error of assuming that the conditions governing a milk supply are of importance only to the community in which the milk is consumed. That this attitude is erroneous is evidenced by the decrease in milk consumption and the constantly increasing demand for supplies of clean milk from healthy animals.
The progressive agricultural press, and some dairymen are beginning to recognize that the former attitude of milk producers was a serious blunder. Some farming journals and dairymen not equally progressive are making the mistake of urging that there is too much agitation about milk, too many sensational articles combined with too much scare on the part of the consumer. There has not been too much agitation, the fault if any is that there has not been enough. Let the talk go on with increased vigor until the covering-up policy, which has been suggested, is abandoned. Comparison of the conditions of city tenements and cow stables, to the disparagement of the former, may be amusing to the originators, and at the same time utterly fail to teach the necessity of quickly cooling milk, or that it should be the product of healthy animals. Let this agitation proceed until the man with a penchant for surrounding cow dung with tin, learns to place it in a separate receptacle from that used to hold milk.
These conditions require heroic treatment; dairymen and dealers must purge themselves of the obnoxious features governing milk production and handling. Cowards and drones have no place in the suppression of the