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tuberculous cow or of the installation and use of correct dairy methods; such work requires courage and action.
When it can be demonstrated that bovine tuberculosis is on the decline in New England, and that consumers are receiving clean milk supplies, there will be no complaint as to decrease of milk consumption. Public confidence in milk will only be restored as producers demonstrate willingness to make it clean and cease procuring it from diseased animals. The plucking out of the objectionable features requires bravery, and the remedy, if applied by the milk producer and dealer, will accrue to their financial success.
DISCUSSION. H. L. Stillson, Esq.
When asked by Dr. Holton to lead in a discussion of Dr. Jordan's paper, the first thought was, What can I say? Later, when the learned milk inspector of the city of Boston, at my request, had kindly written out an outline of his proposed address, it occurred to me I might concur in his "observations" and emphasize a couple of points by home and foreign examples. I wish to say, first, all will concede the value of Dr. Jordan's remarks. The topic is germane to the situation in Vermont; the trend is to arouse those interested and the people, not only the state, but of the United States, are vitally involved-in the purity of the nation's milk supply being of paramount importance.
1. Leaving the subject of “Tuberculous Cattle” to the State Commissioner, who is slated to follow me, I will briefly suggest what Vermont has begun to do legally to certify pure milk and .cream for her people. Act No. 118, Laws of 1908, in effect April 1, 1909, is a long step forward, notwithstanding the "little joker” of the second paragraph in Section 1, which reads: “No person who shall incidentally sell or furnish to his neighbors milk or cream from his private dairy shall be construed to be carrying on the business of selling or supplying milk or cream within the meaning of this act”; and which exempts from license, preceded by inspection, 35 cows kept in the village of Bennington, mess fed and housed under all kinds of conditions, in lots of one, two, and occasionally three, by private owners.
I refer to the township of Bennington for two reasons: (a) Because conversant with the movement there to produce and sell certified milk and cream, and (b) the foreign municipality to which reference is made later, is about parallel in population, number of cows considered, etc. I might say, inter alia, for Doctor Jordan's benefit, that our township has (in round numbers) 9,000 inhabitants; has three incorporated villages,—Bennington, the largest, some 6,500 population,—and the number of certified dairy cows to supply these is 1,005, according to the computation of Frank Cromack, president of the local board of health.
To prepare for the issuance of the forty-three licenses now in force,
took the time of the president and health officer, almost continuously, from March 28 until into May, 1909, and four of these licenses are dated later. It was found impossible, driving the distances required, to inspect more than two dairies daily, and in several instances one only. There was not an exception but that the regulations demanded an outlay by each applicant of from twenty-five to several hundred dollars. Notwithstanding these essential qualifications there was not a single demurrer from the regular milk and cream producers. Several attempted, so we are afterward told, to comply with the legal requirements, gave it up, and are selling milk to Hood & Company of Boston. Another section of our dairymen, who were selling milk to Hood & Company, made application for inspections and licenses, when it was found by the law that nothing was required, because Act No. 118 limits the license-sale to "inhabitants of this state.” This being the fact, the people of other commonwealths than Vermont must look out for themselves.
The larger portion of Vermont is naturally favored with conditions essential, and not possessed by others. It was found in Bennington and vicinity that mountain springs of pure water had been protected at their source by concrete walls; the water taken in quantities demanded—the trout brooks allowed to flow as usual-in pipes to the troughs in the pastures; from thence to the milk houses, the barnyards and dwellingsthe cows and horses provided with separate tubs, and the whole equipment modern, sanitary and complete. The distances were from a few rods to a mile or more. The temperature of the water in April varied from 40 degrees to 45 degrees. And this, not only in the one case in mind, but true of the owners of dairy after dairy in Bennington, Pownal and Shaftsbury, from whence comes the milk and cream supply of the villages of Bennington ; and to whom the forty-three licenses have been issued. The ice cream manufacturers and drug stores are required to use certified cream.
The State Board of Health performed a duty in the issue of its regulations, which deserves the glory of immortality, in five or six questions of the nearly one hundred asked for record :
(a) “Is the stable protected from such sources of contamination as privy, etc?” the “etc.” meaning hogpen or henhouse. Do you know that the separator is sometimes placed in proximity to all three in localities known to some of you, the cream separated and residue fed out on the spot?
(b) “Is feeding done before milking ?” Ensilage. Did you ever hear the housewife complain of the milk being “rotten”?
(c) "Is the water used for washing utensils pure?" "How do you know?"
(d) “Do the milk ash their hands just before milking?" "Where?” Did you ever hear of either not doing this; or, if washing, doing it in some stagnant pool, anywhere?
(e) "Is the foremilk discarded ?" Nearly all our best dairymen were found to answer “yes”; others had never heard of such a practice. Result, I have yet to find anyone complaining this summer of milk having been found sour in the morning. I was taught to milk, discarding the foremilk, and told the reason why, so was fortified to reply to any question along that line. But time does not permit of further explanation. So much for the Vermont crusade.
2. The second comment is correlative to the milk and cream supply, and is suggested, both by Doctor Jordan's paper, and by an article in a recent (April, 1909) quarterly issue of The British Journal of Tuberculosis, by Doctor Birgir Oeverland, district physician of Meraker, Norway, entitled, “Human and Bovine Tuberculosis.” The startling statement that cattle are infected by human beings, and that persons afflicted with bovine tuberculosis are more curable than that acquired from another human being, supported by statistics extending from 1885, I thought might supplement the remarks of the speaker of the evening, and assist the one to follow me. As Doctor Oeverland puts it: “Does man infect cattle, or do cattle infect man, or can they both infect each other?”
To quote Doctor Oeverland: “When Koch and Von Behring, in their lectures, had urged contradictory views as regards the relation between human and cattle tuberculosis I began, within my own district, to compare the results of tuberculin tests on cattle with the number of known cases of tuberculosis in the people living on the same farms; for I thought that if the two kinds of the isease were two different varieties, which could not be transferred from one species to another, the appearance per cent of cattle tuberculosis would be the same, whether regard be had to the farms where no human tuberculosis could be found or to those where the disease was also found amongst the people. If, on the other hand, cattle tuberculosis was the predominant source of infection to man, it might be expected that human tuberculosis would in the main be found to be confined to the farms where there were reacting cows. Since the commencement of my investigations many researches have shown that cattle and man can mutually infect each other with their more or less heterogeneous bacilli. I therefore determined to ascertain, if possible, whether it is a rare or frequent occurrence on our Norwegian farms for cattle and man to infect each other."
Omitting the historical data, interesting though it is, the results of his observations are tabulated under four headings, as follows:
(a) “Farms where no positive tuberculin test in the live stock has occurred and where I have not been able to find a case of tuberculosis among the occupants; 41 barns with 434 animals.” Nothing to compare.
(b) "Farms with no positive tuberculin test in the live stock, but with cases of tuberculosis among the occupants; 22, with 222 animals." Shows that the disease may and does occur among the occupants of the farm, although the cattle are not infected.
(c) "Farms with positive tuberculin test in the live stock, but with no tuberculosis among the occupants; 13, with 201 animals (16 reacted).” Showing that cattle may be infected, and it is not always certain that symptoms of the disease can be found among the people.
(d) “Farms with positive tuberculin test in the live stock and with cases of tuberculosis among the occupants; 21, with 300 animals (35 reacted).” Shows the disease under 21 instances afflicting man and cattle.
The résumé gives the percentages of the groups; but, in the total of 1157 animals, only 51 gave a positive tuberculin reaction, or 4.4%. The Doctor concludes, notwithstanding the 21 instances to which reference is made, that it is utterly impossible to form any opinion as to the infecting agent, but quotes two examples:
(a) "A girl, formerly healthy and of a healthy family, becomes a milkmaid on one of these farms where previously no tuberculosis had been recognized; she contracts tuberculosis, returns to her home, and dies one year later. At her home two of the other children are infected from her, and they subsequently die. On the farm where she was a milkmaid the live stock is examined two years after her death, and two of the cows react. The cattle had been examined with a negative result before the girl had come to the farm." Did the girl bring the disease to these cattle?
(b) Another instance cited would seem to reply in the affirmative. Here is the story in the Doctor's own words: “Such a case we have, in my opinion. The cattle were tested in 1901, with a negative result. About that time a new tenant came to the farm, and in his family some cases of tuberculosis occurred, after which he moved from the farm. When the cows were tested once more, in 1906, three of the animals which had been tested in 1901, reacted. The fact that in this case also some of farmer's own children exhibited suspicious symptoms, may be due to infection from the cowhouse, but also—and that is perhaps more likelyfrom the persons, who afterward died, with whom they had played.
Mr. President and gentlemen, I thank you for your courtesy. Dr. E. J. Fish, South Royalton, Vt.
I am not quite certain whether it will be proper or permissible for me to raise my voice in this audience, being an ex-health officer. I was not fortunate enough to hear all of Professor Jordan's paper but I took a great deal of interest in the part which I did hear. He called attention to and suggested some things with regard to milk supplies which we should all take home with us and act upon. I simply want to speak of the local conditions in my part of the state. The same conditions obtain in our town as obtain in other towns, I have no doubt. Attention has been called to defects in the law whereby forty or fifty cows could be kept by a man in the little town of Bennington, selling milk to his neighbors without complying with the conditions provided by the State Board of Health. I know when that bill was first introduced it was intended that all sellers and producers should conform, but there were a good many farmers in the house and when it was proposed that they have a right to sell to the neighbors, it had to be accepted in order to get the bill through. It was fought against, of that you may be sure, but the fight was not victorious. It was intended as you may all know, that there should be a square deal for all. A great deal of milk is sold from diseased animals. There is a great deal of disease caused in that way. Only yesterday morning I was at our railroad station and what I saw there yesterday has been repeated before. The milk cans are brought into the station. (I think the city end of the business is all right. I have some idea of the excellence of the work done by the inspector of Boston and I know he is trying very hard to see that everything is properly handled.) These cans which I have just said arrived at the station, I suppose had been properly cleaned when shipped. They were thrown onto the platform of the station. They landed helter-skelter fashion. The stoppers rolled out and rolled into horse manure in the street. I saw the owner of the cans come along, pick up the stoppers, brush them off on his sleeve, and replace them in the cans. If the milk inspector of Boston refuses to accept milk handled in such a way, I hope it will have a good effect upon the Vermont farmers. I always hesitate when I go to Boston and see a sign placarded in a restaurant-Pure Vermont Milk. Dr. C. M. Ferrin, Essex Junction, V t.
In connection with our creamery I would say they receive cream from different parts of the town, in fact separators from three towns, and it is brought to our creamery and the milk from a large number of farmers from Essex and Williston is brought there and made into butter. Every morning I see streams of men, women and children going down to this creamery to get their supply of milk and cream. They carry the cans with them. Some have cream and others milk. The question is whether the farmer or creamery has a license to peddle the milk from house to house, but still they sell it direct from the creamery. Is this just and right? The other day I was talking with a farmer who has a slaughterhouse on his farm and carries meat to markets in Burlington. His place of butchering was filthy. I was laboring with him in regard to cleaning the place up and he found some fault with the law and said: "Why not inspect these farmers around here? I keep my milk clean and my utensils clean and all that, but my neighbors, whose stables and cows are filthy, carry milk to the creamery even from cows whose calves are only two days old.” I tell you these things but I suppose they are some of the things which we cannot help. I know of one place where milk was sold, the stables were in a filthy condition. They did not peddle their milk from house to house, but supplied their patrons with milk; they will not