Mr. Risley to Mr. Olney .

No. 108.]

Sir: On receiving from the State Department, in October last, the Regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture concerning exportation of cattle and meat, I had a conversation with the minister of foreign affairs, who, it will be remembered, is also prime, minister, in which it appeared that he was personally inclined to favor a revocation of the orders now in force excluding American cattle and fresh meat from this country. Thinking the time favorable, the next day I sent him a copy of the Regulations above referred to, accompanied by a note of which a copy is inclosed, marked A. I have now received an answer, of which I also inclose a copy, marked B.

It will be observed that the action of Denmark in excluding our cattle and meat is based wholly on the like action of Germany, precisely as I stated in my dispatch No. 69, of November 21, 1894. Before sending me the reply inclosed, the minister, in a conversation, stated that Germany now maintained a quarantine often days against Danish live cattle, on the pretext of fear of the foot-and-mouth disease, which he [Page 212] said bad not existed in Denmark in the past two years, though it prevails extensively in Germany itself. He added that his colleague would be glad to revoke the decrees I complained of, but feared if he should do so Germany would exclude Danish cattle entirely, which would be very injurious to the Danes.

I have, etc.,

John E. Risley
[Inclosure A.]

Mr. Risley to Baron Reedtz-Thott .

No. 59.]

Excellency: Referring to the conference I had the honor to hold with you yesterday in relation to the exclusion by Denmark of cattle and fresh meat from the United States, and to our previous correspondence on the same subject, I beg to hand you herewith a pamphlet recently issued by the Department of Agriculture of the Government of the United States, containing the “Rules and regulations governing the operations of the Bureau of Animal Industry; also the acts of Congress under which they are made.”

It is strenuously denied that “Texas fever” or any other infectious or contagious disease exists to an alarming or dangerous extent among the cattle of any part of the United States, but if it were otherwise, in view of the many inspections, rigid rules, and severe penalties prescribed by these laws and regulations, it appears to be nearly impossible for diseased animals or meat to be exported.

I desire to call particular attention to sections 2 and 4 of the law of March 2, 1895, on page 44; and the Regulations pursuant thereto, made by the Secretary of Agriculture, dated June 14, 1895, pages 5–12.

It will be observed that competent inspectors are appointed for each slaughterhouse (rules 3, 4). An antemortem examination must be made of all animals arriving at the stock yards for slaughter, and those found to be diseased or unfit for human food are condemned and rejected and destroyed (5).

Those found to be sound must again be inspected when about to be slaughtered (6). After they are slaughtered a careful examination must again be made, and if any carcass is found to be diseased or unfit for human food it is condemned and destroyed (7), or otherwise disposed of in such manner that it can not be put on the market or exported. Rules 9 to 13 prescribe such strict regulations for marking, stamping, and shipping that it would be practically impossible for any meat to pass that had not been subjected to these numerous inspections.

Rule 18, page 11, requires similar examinations and precautions for swine, and, in addition, a careful microscopic examination of such swine meat as is intended for export to countries requiring it, among which is Denmark (19). A copy of the inspector’s certificate will accompany the shipping bill (21).

No clearance shall be given to any vessel having onboard any fresh, salted, canned, corned, or packed beef, being the meat of cattle killed after the passage of this act, for exportation to and sale in a foreign country from any port in the United States until the owner or shipper shall obtain from an inspector appointed under the provisions of this act a certificate that said cattle were free from disease, and that the meat is sound and wholesome. (Section 2, law of March 2, 1895.)

[Page 213]

Section 4 of the same law prescribes severe penalties of both fine and imprisonment for any person who shall forge, counterfeit, alter, or destroy intentionally any of the tags, labels, or certificates required.

The foregoing is a hasty sketch of a part only of the laws and regulations now in force for preventing the export of unhealthy meat. Equally strenuous laws and regulations exist to prevent the export of diseased or unsound live cattle or sheep; and most careful provision is made for the comfort and care of all animals while in transit, in order that exposure or suffering shall not render them unfit for human food. (Regulations, pp. 13–21.)

I submit that a careful reading of these laws and regulations can hardly fail to convince anyone that there can be no risk to health in using cattle or meats exported from the United States; and I hope that the Government of His Majesty will agree in the view that the prohibition now existing against the import of cattle and meat from the United States can, with entire safety to Denmark, be removed.

I am confident that such action would be very pleasing to the Government and people of the United States, and would add much to the already increasing commercial relations of the two countries. At the present moment I think this particularly desirable, in view of the increased facilities offered by the free port of Copenhagen and the new line of steamships about established between this port and New Orleans.

Accept, etc.,

John E. Risley
[Inclosure B.]

Baron Reedtz-Thott to Mr. Bisley .

Mr. Minister: I hastened to consult with my colleague, the minister of the interior, in regard to the contents of the note which you were pleased to address to me on the 3d of October last, and in which you urged the revocation of the prohibition, which is now in force, of the importation of live cattle and fresh beef from America into Denmark.

My colleague has just replied that the prohibition in question was rendered necessary by the measures taken some years since by Germany to prevent the importation of American cattle into Germany. As it is of the utmost importance for Denmark to retain the privilege of exporting her cattle to Germany, it has been necessary to guard against the danger that would arise if exporters of American meat effected an entrance to the German market by way of Denmark, with a view to taking advantage of the favors granted to our country by Germany. In case of such abuses, there would be reason to fear lest Germany, as regards the importation of cattle, would impose upon us the same rigorous conditions that have been imposed upon the United States, which, in our ease, would be equivalent to a prohibition.

In view of the way in which our trade in cattle has become developed, the minister of the interior is of the opinion that we are obliged to proceed on the same lines that are followed by Germany in connection with the importation of cattle from foreign countries, and he does not see his way clear to revoking the prohibition in question so long as Germany continues to exclude American cattle.

In having the honor to acquaint you with my colleague’s reply, I avail myself, etc.,