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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Fortieth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Beloit, Wis., November, 1911. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests
(1912)

Hastings, E. G.
Tuberculin and its uses,   pp. 97-106 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 103


Wisconsin Dairymen's Association.
been found, conditions are very different, and it is a simple method to
free such herds from tuberculosis.
The question which the breeder and dairyman must ask himself is;
"Is the disease of bovine tuberculosis of sufficient sanitary and economic
importance so that I can afford to fight it with a tool that has such
limitations as the tuberculin test?" There is absolutely no doubt that
the disease of bovine tuberculosis has a certain sanitary significance.
It is believed that approximately 25% of tuberculosis in children under
five years of age is due to infection from a bovine source.
It is impossible to present any figures that shall give a satisfactory
picture of the economic importance of the disease. It has been esti-
mated by the Bureau of Animal Industry of the U. S. Department of
Agriculture that bovine tuberculosis costs this country $24,000,000.00
annually. It is very certain, however, that this Is too low an estimate.
If a farmer has a valuable dairy animal and he is forced to turn her
off for beef because she loses the use of her udder through inflamma-
tion, he realizes that he has suffered an economic loss, a loss which is
measured by the difference between what he obtained for her for beef
and what she would have brought as a dairy animal. A large number of
animals must be removed from our dairy herds on account of their
having become unthrifty. These poor animals must be sold at a low
value for beef. A large portion of these unthrifty animals are in this
condition because they have tuberculosis in the advanced stages. It
was recently asserted by a butcher who is killing for local consump-
tion and whose supply comes largely from the dairy herds of the im-
mediate locality that at least 50% of the animals slaughtered by him
show lesions of tuberculosis. It seems quite probable that this same
thing is true ifil many other sections of the country. In the case of
tuberculosis the farmer fails to recognize the source of his loss. He
thinks it is due to some inevitable condition, rather than to something
which can be prevented.
It is believed by those best qualified to judge that the farmer should
act In this manner: He should attempt to free his herd from tuber-
culosis, if it is already present therein, and to keep his herd free there-
after; and especially to keep it free If the disease is not yet present.
It is believed that everyone who is interested in the breeding and
handling of dairy cattle will be wise if he considers bovine tuberculosis
as one of the most Important sources of loss, and that he will be wise
if he makes constant use of the tuberculin test, even though it has
certain limitations.
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