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pulsory registration of all dogs, and the merciful destruction, after due care, of all dogs that remain unregistered. The proper muzzling of all dogs that go upon the streets would be an additional safeguard, but still is, in my opinion, unnecessary, if my first recommendation is properly carried out.
We already have in this State a most perfect law for compelling the registration of animals; and the dog tax could be made available for paying the expenses of catching the unregistered animals, supporting them for a proper time, and mercifully destroying those that remain unclaimed. We have also in the State Cattle Commissioners an organized body whose function it is to administer the laws regarding contagious disease among animals. No more distressing contagious disease of animals exists than rabies : why should not the Board act in this matter?
Yours very truly,
CHARLES P. LYMAN.
Though rabies has been a well-known contagious disease from time immemorial, and its occurrence in this State has not been unknown, yet, from the roving, homeless, friendless character of the animal usually infected with and propagating it, until the present year we have never been notified of, and called by municipal officers to guard against, its spread. Five times since our last report was made we have been called to duty in this direction. These facts, and the above communication, caused us to fear that this most dreadful of all contagions is becoming more prevalent in the State ; and hy appointment we met the Board of Health of Boston for an examination and discussion of the whole subject, and, if possible, to determine in what line of effort we might hope to be most successful in diminishing its frequency. This conference led the Commissioners to believe that the public welfare required that an effort should be made to restrict the movement of ownerless, neglected or suspicious dogs. We therefore printed on one sheet, and sent to all our boards of health, all the regulations we had previously issued for their guidance in attempts to control animals infected with contagious disease, with an additional one, that the first four of the series must be made to apply to dogs. These regulations are inserted below.
STATE CATTLE COMMISSION,
SECRETARY'S Office, DEDHAM, Mass., Jan. 3, 1891. To Boards of Health of Cities and Towns and Citizens of the Common
wealth. The Cattle Commissioners of Massachusetts, in conformity to the requirements of the Public Statutes, hereby make and publish the following rules and regulations for the suppression of contagious diseases among domestic animals :
RULE 1. Whoever has knowledge of, or has good reason to suspect the existence of, a contagious disease among any species of domestic animals in this State, whether such knowledge or suspicion is obtained by personal examination or otherwise, shall forthwith give notice thereof to the board of health of the city or of the town where such diseased or suspected animals are kept.
RULE 2. The board of health of a city, or of a town, having received notice of a suspected case of contagious disease among any of the domestic animals in their city or town, shall forthwith make an examination thereof personally, or by a competent person appointed by them for that purpose; and, if satisfied there are good reasons for believing that contagion is present, shall cause the suspected animals to be securely held by the owners or other reliable person, and shall immediately inform the Cattle Commissioners.
RULE 3. An order, written or verbal, to securely hold such suspected animals in isolation, shall be binding, whether given by a member of the board of health of the city or town, an authorized agent of such board, or by a single member of the Cattle Commission.
RULE 4. Persons having the care or custody of suspected animals, whether such animals are their own property or otherwise, and having received an order for their isolation, shall neither sell, swap, trade, give or in any way dispose of such animals, nor drive or work or move or allow them to be moved away from the place of isolation, nor allow other animals not already exposed to come in contact with them, till permitted so to do by the Cattle Commissioners.
PLEURO-PNEUMONIA. Hog CHOLERA. RULE 5. In cases of suspected contagious pleuro-pneumonia among cattle, or swine-plague or cholera among swine, the entire herd must be secured against communication with other animals of the same species that have not been exposed to the suspected animals; and owners of other herds which may have been exposed and afterwards moved should be immediately notified and warned of the existing danger.
RULE 6. Horses or mules suspected of having the disease known as glanders or farcy may only remain in the custody of their owners, and in the stalls or on the premises previously occupied by them, when, in the judgment of boards of health, such owners can be relied on with confidence, and when such stalls or premises are deemed suitable places for holding such diseased or suspected animals till taken in charge by the Cattle Commissioners.
RABIES OR HYDROPHOBIA. Rabies or hydrophobia in dogs is evidently increasing in the community, particularly in thickly populated sections. Scientific investigation has removed much of the superstition formerly prevalent regarding this disease. It is now generally accepted by the well informed that rabies is a specific, contagious disease, due to the introduction into the system of the bacterial rabies germ from another animal suffering from the malady, and that its spread is in no way influenced by stars in the heavens or by dog-days” weather, but is due to the bite of infected dogs or other animals, and which are as dangerous in cold weather as in the heat of midsummer. Municipal regulations for the restraint of this class of animals should, therefore, be no less operative at one season than at another.
The Cattle Commissioners, therefore, do hereby make and publish the following order, viz. : Rules 1, 2, 3 and 4 in this circular shall include dogs, and boards of health shall observe and publish said rules, and take the same course for the suppression of rabies as for the suppression of other contagious diseases among domestic animals, and shall cause all suspected dogs to be at once quarantined or securely held in restraint till destroyed or released by order of the Cattle Commissioners.
TUBERCULOSIS. CONSUMPTION. During the past few years evidence has been accumulating which increases and strengthens the belief that consumption is a contagious disease common to both man and animals, and that its prevalence in the human family is, to a greater or less extent, due to the .use of the milk or flesh of tuberculous cattle. With the unprecedented growth of cities following the improvements in steam transportation, the milk and meats consumed by the majority of the people must necessarily be produced so far from the tables of consumers as to give them no opportunity for personal inspection, or of knowing under what conditions these indispensable animal products may have been produced.
Under such conditions it is not a matter of surprise that intelligent city residents should demand that some safeguard be thrown around their food supply, and especially that some guarantee be given that the milk that they buy for their children shall not he loaded with the germs of some fatal disease.
The original statute for the suppression of contagious diseases among animals was enacted for the special purpose of stamping out contagious pleuro-pneumonia among cattle, – a disease that can only be effectually exterminated by killing not only all diseased animals, but also all that may have been exposed to the disease; and it was but simple justice, when the latter class were seized for destruction, that they should be paid for by the public at a fair rate.
Diseases like glanders in horses, cholera in swine and scab in sheep do not call for the killing of all exposed animals; and, as no animal suffering from a loathsome disease is salable for human food, it is obviously unwise and unjust to require the public to bear a loss for which individuals may be chiefly or wholly responsible. Tuberculosis in cattle, like glanders in horses, is a disease to be treated by the “ weeding-out” process; and, the sooner a suspected animal is removed from its fellows, the better for all concerned.
Rule 7. In accordance with the spirit and intent of the foregoing, in all cases of suspected tuberculosis among cattle, coming to your notice, you will hereafter instruct.owners to cause the separation of their suspected animals from the remainder of the herd, and cause their isolation, and allow the unsuspected animals to be managed in all respects as if no disease had been present.
The intent of the statute under which the Cattle Commission was created was the suppression of contagious diseases in the interest of animal owners, rather than the protection of consumers against the use of unwholesome animal products. Chapter 58 of the Public Statutes provides specially for the appointment by the selectmen of towns and mayor and aldermen of cities of inspectors of provisions; but such inspectors cannot be legally appointed until the town or city accepts the provisions of said chapter.
An inspector of provisions has the power to enter any building or premises for the examination of all kinds of food offered or kept for sale; and, with the increasing interest and anxiety felt by the public as to the wholesomeness of the milk, meat and other foods purchased in open markets, the Cattle Commissioners feel justified in urgently calling the attention of boards of health to the matter, and requesting them — if it has not already been done - to see that there is an article inserted in the warrant for the next town meeting, under which action can be taken that will enable the selectmen of all the towns in the Commonwealth to appoint inspectors of provisions as the statutes provide. The Cattle Commissioners will cheerfully co-operate with towns and cities in any reasonable attempt to suppress or curtail the sale of milk or meat from cattle suspected of being infected with tuberculosis ; but they believe that the appointment of an inspector, either a member of the local board of health or some other suitable person, is the first necessary step to be taken in each city or town.
PUBLISHING REGULATIONS. The death of citizens of this State from the loathsome and fatal disease of glanders contracted from diseased horses carelessly or ignorantly handled or treated, or surreptitiously removed from isolation ; the too general negligence of animal owners, veterinarians and others in giving notice of the suspected existence of contagious diseases; and the lax or indifferent action of municipal officers in taking possession or control of animals within their jurisdiction suspected of being infected with contagion, — make it imperative that we call the attention of all good citizens to the statutes provided for the suppression of contagion among domestic animals, and that boards of health in each of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth publish and place upon their records such regulations concerning the treatment of suspected cases of contagion among domestic animals as will enable the proper authorities to subject offenders to legal prosecution.
PENALTIES. ΤΙ statutes provide that any person who fails to comply with a regulation made or order given by the Cattle Commissioners or boards of health, in the discharge of their duty, is punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year; and any city or town whose officers refuse or neglect to carry into effect the provisions of chapter 252 of the Acts of 1887, relating to the publication of regulations, the isolation of suspected animals, and the carrying into effect of all proper orders from the Cattle Commissioners, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars for each day's neglect.
0. B. HADWEN, Cattle Commissioners of Massachusetts.