Page images

Mr. F. H. APPLETON of Peabody. I would like very much to move, if it is in order, that a committee of three be appointed by the Chair, who shall consider the advisability of this meeting passing a resolution recommending the enactment of a law prohibiting the use of unsound sires in Massachusetts, the committee to report this afternoon.

Mr. WARE seconded the motion, and it was carried.

The chairman announced the committee as follows: Messrs. Appleton of Peabody, Sessions of Hampden and Ware of Marblehead.

Adjourned to 1.30 P.M.

AFTERNOON SESSION. The meeting was called to order at 1.30, Mr. STOCKWELL in the chair.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any business to come before the meeting before the address by Mr. Gold?

Mr. HERSEY. I move that the thanks of the Board be given to the Worcester Agricultural Society and to the Worcester Grange for the courtesies which they have shown us since we have been here, and also to the Worcester Horticultural Society for the free use of this hall, which is so well adapted to our purposes.

Secretary SESSIONS. Personally, sir, I wish to acknowledge my obligations to the members of the Worcester Society for the aid they have given me in making arrangements for this meeting, and for the courtesies which have been extended to the Board, and to me as its secretary. The thanks of the Board are certainly due to the Worcester Horticultural Society for the free use of this beautiful hall, and the kind attentions of the officers of that society.

The motion of Mr. Hersey was carried, by a unanimous vote.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any other business that any member desires to bring before the Board at this meeting?

Secretary SESSIONS. I want to say that the forces of nature bave prevented you gentlemen from having an invitation which I doubt not you would have received with great pleasure. The Worcester Agricultural Society had intended to invite the members of the Board after the lecture this afternoon to take a ride about the city, and view some of the attractions of Worcester, of which they are so proud, and which you would have very much enjoyed; but the ice storm of this morning has made the streets unsafe for the smooth-shod horses, and thus prevented the courtesy being extended, for which I am very sorry, and which I doubt not you all very much regret.

The CHAIRMAN. You will now listen to the report of the committee appointed at the forenoon session with reference to legislation in regard to the use of unsound horses as sires.

Mr. APPLETON. The committee understand that the last Legislature passed a law requiring that the pedigree of stallions, advertised for service, should be recorded; and the committee recommend that an addition be made to the law in some form, providing that proof of the soundness of the horse shall be certified to by a veterinary surgeon.

Mr. WARE. I understand that it is proposed that the legislation shall forbid the advertising for service of unsound stallions, and this certificate is to be proof of soundness.

Mr. E. W. WOOD. I would move that this committee be instructed to bring this matter before the Legislature.

Mr. NEWTON. I would like to inquire if it is the intention of this Board to ask the Legislature to forbid by law the uso of an unsound stallion ? If so, is it a wise move for an intelligent set of men like those here present to make? What would such a law amount to ? It seems to me that it would simply make us a laughing-stock. How can you, by a law of Massachusetts, forbid me to use a stallion that I have, if he does have spavin? How can we enforce any such law? Have we not on the statute book any number of laws that are inoperative? What is the use of incumbering it with more?

Secretary SESSIONS. I do not suppose that this convention has any idea of undertaking impossibilities; but I do know that the Legislature, by their action last winter, considered that they had a right to require information respecting horses kept for breeding purposes.

Now, an addition can be made, requiring that the owners of horses offered for service shall show that they are sound. I can see no harm in passing this resolution, for of course the Legislature will be the judge as to whether they will enact such a law, or not.

Mr. WARE. Of course this law is not to be understood as applying to a man who keeps a stallion for private use. But the stallions that are advertised and put upon the market for service can be reached, and it is proper, it seems to me, that the farmers should be protected from the service of an unsound stallion that is liable to impart that unsoundness to his progeny. If a private individual chooses to use his stallion in a private way, of course this law would not reach him, and it is not intended to do so; but it is intended to reach publicly advertised stallions that are on the market as such. I say that it is not too much to require that such stallions shall be sound.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN of Worcester. I object to the passage of the resolution, on general principles. It is special legislation. It is the opening wedge which will be made use of in the future, if it is sanctioned by this meeting, for all kinds of restrictions upon all kinds of farm animals. It appears to me that the law of the survival of the fittest, the law of self-protection, which has had control of this matter in the past, is sufficient to control it in the future; and, as special legislation, and as leading to what it appears to me is very objectionable, I hope the resolution will not pass.

Secretary SESSIONS. The opening wedge was started generations ago. We have a law on the statute book that has been there for many years, providing that rams shall not be allowed to run at large at certain seasons of the year.

Mr. APPLETON. I understand that in the State of Indiana it is required that in all advertisements of stallions standing for use a certificate of soundness from the State Veterinary Surgeon shall be published with those advertisements; and I believe it is also the law in France, where they are so noted for their horses of various kinds. The CHAIRMAN.

It seems to me that we may trust this matter with a committee such as we have appointed to have charge of it. They will, doubtless, if they bring anything before the Legislature, bring something that will be of benefit to the breeders of Massachusetts.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN. It appears to me that, if we are to have a certificate of the soundness of the sire, we should also have a certificate of the soundness of the dam. These imperfections are transmitted perhaps more generally through the dam than through the sire; and why should we not have a certificate of the soundness of the dam, as well as of the sire ?

Secretary SESSIONS. The law of last winter reads as follows : “ The owner or keeper of any stallion for breeding purposes shall, before advertising by written or printed notices the service thereof, file a certificate with the clerk of that city or town in the county in which said stallion is owned or kept, stating the name, color, age and size of the same, together with the pedigree of said stallion as fully as obtainable, and the name of the person by whom he was bred. And it shall be the duty of such clerk to record such certificate in a book kept for that purpose. Copies of such certificate duly certified by such clerk may be used in evidence the same as the original in any court in the Commonwealth. The fee of the clerk for recording each certificate shall be twenty-five cents. Whoever neglects to make and file such certificate shall recover no compensation for the services of his said stallion, and if he knowingly and wilfully makes and files a false certificate of the statements aforesaid he shall for each and every offence be subject to a penalty of one hundred dollars."

The CHAIRMAN. The question is now whether this Committee shall be instructed to bring this matter before the Legislature, and request legislation upon it.

The question was then put, and resulted in a vote of fifteen in the affirmative to eight in the negative.

Mr. APPLETON. I suppose the members of the Board only have a right to vote.

Mr. DUDLEY. It seems to me it ought to be understood whether any but those who are members of the Board have a right to voie. I did not vote, because I am not a member of the Board.

The CHAIRMAN. We would be very glad to have a full expression from all those who are in favor of, and all those who are opposed to, the resolution. We are here in conven

tion, and I will decide that all in the hall who desire to vote on one side or the other shall have the privilege. Before asking you to vote upon this question, I will read the motion, as amended by the committee : “ That proof of

: the soundness of a stallion advertised for service should be required by law, and that such proof should be a certificate from a veterinary surgeon, and that the committee already appointed shall be authorized to act for this convention before the Legislature.”

Mr. Shaw. Is this to go forth as the vote of the Board of Agriculture, or of the convention ?

The CHAIRMAN. The vote of the convention. I rule that all who are present in this meeting have a right to vote. All those in favor of this resolution, as now amended and read, will rise, and stand until counted.

Thirty-five having voted in the affirmative and seven in the negative, the chairman declared the resolution carried.

The CHAIRMAN. As the time is getting late, unless there is other business to come before the meeting, we are now ready to listen to the address from the secretary of the State Board of Agriculture of Connecticut, upon the question, “What can Legislation do for Agriculture?” I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. T. S. GOLD, Secretary of the Connecticut State Board of Agriculture.

[ocr errors]



MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN :- I have committed to writing what I have to say to you to-day, that I might not be induced to wander too much, and perhaps weary your patience too long. Otherwise, I should have preferred to have spoken as the ideas came to my mind; but, with the necessity of being brief, I have written the few things I have to say.

There is a great outcry about the depression of agriculture, the decadence of agriculture, and, among the reasons brought forward to account for this state of things, it is charged that legislation operates injuriously to the farmer; that his rights are not duly considered; that he is made to bear an unequal and unjust share in the expenses of the

« PreviousContinue »