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At a meeting of tlie Jioard of Agriculture, the question of ticks infesting cattle in Isew Zealand was discussed as the result of a communication from the iUasterton Farmers' Union. Dr C. J. Ueakes gave the board a full account of the nature and habits of ticks and of the passible extent of their causing loss to Dominion' stock-owners. The Department had, he stated, carried out a thorough and exact investigation and experimental work on both practical and scientific lines, and had verined its conclusions as to the identity of the ticks by submitting specimens of them to first-class authorities in Great Britain. It was realised that, as the ticks acted as conveyors of tick fever and were not in themselves capable of setting up this disease, the presence of these parasites in New Zealand did not constitute an immediate menace in the form of .causing or spreading tiek-iever (which, had never gained an entrance to New Zealand) or any other serious disease of cattle. At the same time, apart from serious disease, they could, if they became numerous enough, cause depreciation in value of stock, and, moreover, would afford - a medium for spreading the tick. The board therelore resolved that regulations were required to apply to the North Island to, make tick infestation of cattle notifiable and to compel the cleansing of infested cattle from parasites and the prevention of their spread to other districts through the medium of travelling stock. - ■ •

A lengthy report from the Dunedin Crown Lands ranger on a proposal of the Otago Farmers' Union that opossums might be liberated in some of the forests of the great alpine range was carefully considered. It was finally agreed that this might prove a considerable source of revenue to the country, as black skins were said to be worth £1 each. If black or brown opossums were introduced every care should be taken to prevent their introduction into districts where they might become a menace to the fruit* growing industry.

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Bibliographic details

AGRICULTURE BOARD, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9597, 29 April 1919

Word Count

AGRICULTURE BOARD Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9597, 29 April 1919

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