Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 7, 1896, and the Annual Report of the Secretary of State
Mr. Uhl to Mr. Olney.
Berlin, October 10, 1896. (Received Oct. 22.)
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a note, F. O. No. 106, to-day, addressed by me to the Imperial foreign office on the subject of the prohibition of the importation into Germany of live cattle and fresh beef from the United States, and to be, etc.,
Mr. Uhl to Baron von Marschall.
Berlin, October 10, 1896.
The undersigned, ambassador, etc., of the United States of America, has the honor to inform His Excellency Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, Imperial secretary of state for foreign affairs, that on the 7th day of August last the Imperial German ambassador at Washington addressed a note to the Department of State upon the subject of the prohibition of the importation into Germany of live cattle and fresh beef from the United States, accompanied by a memorandum based upon a decision of the Imperial sanitary bureau, which memorandum was referred to in the note of his excellency to the undersigned, of date May 7 last, and by which it is announced that it has appeared to the Imperial German Government, in the interests of German cattle breeding, unadvisable to repeal at the present time the prohibition in question.
The note of Baron von Thielmann and accompanying memorandum having been referred to the Department of Agriculture, of which the Bureau of Animal Industry is a part, has there received very careful and attentive consideration.
It is so manifest to the Government of the United States that the conclusions reached by Baron von Thielmann and the Imperial sanitary bureau, as they are set out in the said note and memorandum, have proceeded from an entire misconception of the facts in relation to cattle breeding, cattle slaughter, and cattle diseases in America, that the undersigned has been instructed by his Government to present the matter anew to His Excellency Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, to point out certain of the more conspicuous inaccuracies in said note and memorandum, and ask for a reconsideration of the subject in that just spirit which the Government of the United States is pleased to believe must animate the Imperial Government in dealing with a question of such magnitude in the relations of two intimately associated commercial states.
The Government of the United States does not and never has questioned (as might be inferred from Baron von Thielmann’s note) the right of other Governments to protect their own cattle industries by necessary and suitable regulations.
Its objection is raised against the total exclusion of its cattle and fresh beef not necessary for sanitary purposes. While Congress has prohibited the importation of cattle into the United States from countries in which contagious diseases exist dangerous to the cattle industry in America, it has also provided a way by which such prohibition may be removed when the disease is eradicated, and the Department of Agriculture has accepted without question, evasion, or challenge as to their correctness the official reports of European countries in that behalf.
The existence of either foot-and-mouth disease, pleuro-pneumonia, or rinderpest is admitted by the Governments of countries from which cattle have been prohibited importation into the United States.
The experience of the world has shown that these diseases are not only dangerous, but that they may be carried and often have been carried long distance with cattle; that they can only be exterminated with great difficulty and are disastrous to the cattle industry of the countries into which they are imported.
The official reports of the Government of the United States show that neither of these diseases exists in that country.[Page 174]
Pleuro-pneumonia was eradicated in 1892, and not a single case has occurred since that time. Hence the disease could not have been found in subsequent years among cattle from the United States upon their arrival in European countries.
It is known to all who have given attention to the subject that the lesions found in ordinary pneumonia from exposure frequently resemble so closely those of contagious pleuro-pneumonia that it is impossible to make an accurate diagnosis except by inoculation or cohabitation experiments.
It was assumed by certain European veterinarians that the pneumonia found in a very few cases of cattle exported from the United States was contagious pleuro-pneumonia, but no experiments of any kind were ever made to demonstrate this view to be correct, and as all scientific investigations tend to show that this disease can not originate “de novo,” it follows as a necessary sequence that if the disease did not exist in the United States, and the cattle had not been exposed to it before exportation, they could not have been affected with it when they landed in foreign ports.
Baron von Thielmann refers to the fact that the State of New Hampshire has recently issued a quarantine ordinance prescribing the tuberculin test for all cattle imported into that State, and adds:
It thus appears that the existence of lung diseases (pleuro-pneumonia) among the cattle of the other States of the Union is regarded there as certain.
The conclusion reached by the Imperial ambassador by no means follows. He has overlooked the fact that the tuberculin test is one that is never applied for pleuro-pneumonia. It is exclusively a test for tuberculosis. It is applied only to breeding stock or milch cows, and is entirely unnecessary for cattle about to be slaughtered.
Tuberculosis exists among the cattle of all countries, and is less prevalent in the United States than in Europe, and certainly the adoption of regulations to prevent its introduction will not be seriously urged as evidence justifying the total exclusion of all cattle from the United States into a foreign country; and, moreover, if the existence of tuberculosis itself is to be held as a ground for such total prohibition, all international traffic in cattle must cease, as there is no country that is absolutely free from this disease.
A number of years ago contagious pleuro-pneumonia existed in the United States, but was confined to a small area and has been entirely eradicated by stringent measures adopted by the Federal Government. There has not been a case of pleuro-pneumonia observed in the United States during the last three years. This Department has declared officially that the disease was eradicated, and the evidence of this is briefly as follows:
In the district where the disease existed a rigid inspection and quarantine was maintained for one year after the last case of the disease was discovered. There has been a careful inspection of all cattle exported before they were allowed to be loaded upon the ships. There has also been a careful inspection at the time of slaughter of all cattle killed, the meat of which was to be shipped from one State into another or to any foreign country. The number of these during the last year exceeded 3,800,000.
There has also been an investigation made of all outbreaks of cattle disease reported to the Department of Agriculture during the last three years. With all these sources of information it does not appear possible that there could be a contagious disease of this character existing among the cattle of the United States without its having been brought to the notice of this Department.
At the meeting of the United States Veterinary Medical Association, held in Chicago, in 1893, one of the topics of discussion was the question as to whether this disease had been entirely eradicated from the United States. The unanimous voice of the association, which is composed of members from every State in the Union, was that the disease did not exist in any part of the country, and had not existed during the year and a half immediately preceding the meeting.[Page 175]
As pleuro-pneumonia does not exist anywhere in the United States, it is absurd to suppose that our cattle are infected with it when they are landed in Europe, for it is universally admitted among veterinarians that the disease only arises by contagion.
Baron von Thielmann further urges that it is evident such further continued protection, especially against Texas fever, is necessary, from the fact that Kentucky has closed its territory against the importation of Southern cattle during nine months in the year, and that a quarantine proclamation of the State of Colorado, dated February 13, 1896, asserts the existence of Texas fever in the Southern States.
The conclusion is not warranted. The regulations of the various States against Texas fever can not be regarded as evidence to justify the prohibition complained of, as they are identical with those issued by the Department of Agriculture, and are made for the cooperation of the State and Federal authorities to prevent the dissemination of the disease mentioned. They merely demonstrate the use of all authority, both Federal and State, to carry out regulations which the Department has assured other nations would be carried out in order to protect the cattle of the United States and also those of foreign countries, to which American cattle are shipped, from infection. The statement in the memorandum that Texas fever has considerably increased in development in the United States since November 7, 1894, when the opinion of the imperial sanitary bureau was communicated, is also incorrect.
It is true that a somewhat larger territory has been embraced in the infected district as defined in the regulations of the Department of Agriculture. That is to say, the State of California has been declared to be infected. In reality only the lower portion of the State is infected, but the entire State is quarantined owing to the local laws being inadequate to maintain a quarantine within the State. This infection existed long before 1894, but as no cattle were shipped out of that section of the country, there was no necessity for any regulation concerning it, and the attention of the Department has not been called to it.
As soon, however, as it appeared that cattle might be sent to other States from southern California, careful investigation was made and the regulations rigorously applied. Nor is the statement correct that the disease exists in the infected district. The cattle of that district are immune to the disease and do not contract it; but when they are shipped to other parts of the country they are liable to disseminate infection by means of the ticks which they carry. The infected district remains infected because of local conditions which are not well understood.
This infection is not spreading, but appears to be receding as a result of the Federal regulation governing the movements of cattle. Nor is the statement correct that the whole of the State of Texas is now infected, and that this infection extends to New Mexico and the whole district between Texas and California. Western Texas is not infected, although the regulations of the Department of Agriculture, when first issued for the current year, were made to include the entire State of Texas in the infected district; this was not on account of an extension of the infection, but because of a lack of harmony between the law of the State and the Federal regulations.
The governor of Texas, however, promptly responded to the requests of the Department of Agriculture for uniform regulations; within a week or so there was complete cooperation between the State of Texas and the Department and the line placed in the same location that it covered last year and for several years before.
The American authorities, therefore, contrary to the statement of the memorandum, have succeeded in checking the disease and confining it to its former territory.[Page 176]
The Federal regulations are designed particularly to prevent the dissemination of the disease beyond the infected district, and this is sufficient for the protection of the countries to which American cattle are consigned.
Texas fever is not, strictly speaking, an epizootic or contagious disease. It is, in the infected district, enzootic, with limited powers of infection.
The area in which the infection exists enzootically is under strict sanitary regulations, and limited by local conditions which prevent its extension. None of the cattle from this region are allowed to leave it during the warm season of the year, when alone the disease occurs, except for immediate slaughter, and the exportation of these animals is absolutely prohibited. Europe is entirely protected from this disease by the regulations which prohibit the exportation of cattle from the district where the infection is enzootic. Every bullock exported is inspected, its origin ascertained, and a number is placed on it for identification. There is, therefore, no chance for a violation of the regulations. All that can be expected of the Government of the United States is to make and enforce regulations which will prevent the spread of the disease to other countries. This has been done effectually and successfully. The fact that no animal, not a single one, in any of the foreign countries to which the cattle of the United States have been shipped—and several millions have been exported within recent years—has ever been found to be infected with Texas fever, is and must be received as convincing and conclusive proof that these regulations have been intelligently conceived, honestly and thoroughly enforced, and that there is absolutely no danger to the cattle of Germany by reason of their exposure to those exported from the United States.
These regulations as affecting cattle for export are:
I. While, as has been stated, a certain area in the southern part of the United States, out of a vast domain, is infected, this region is carefully defined, and no cattle can be exported from this district to the Continent of Europe. Cattle can only be moved out of it for immediate slaughter during the seasons of the year when the disease can be disseminated. Cattle shipped for this purpose are under the supervision of inspectors of the Department of Agriculture. The cars are marked and disinfected after the animals are unloaded.
II. The chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry is directed to cause careful veterinary inspection to be made of all neat cattle and sheep to be exported from the United States to Great Britain and Ireland and the Continent of Europe. This inspection will be made at any of the following-named stock yards: Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago, Ill.; Buffalo, N. Y.; Pittsburg, Pa.; and the following ports of export, viz: Portland, Me.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston and Charlestown, Mass.; New York, N. Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Norfolk and Newport News, Va. All cattle shipped from any of the aforesaid yards must be tagged before being shipped to the ports of export. Cattle arriving at ports of export from other ports of the United States will be tagged at said ports.
After inspection at the aforesaid stock yards all cattle found free from disease and shown not to have been exposed to the contagion of any disease shall be tagged under the direction of the inspector in charge of the yards. After tagging, the cattle will be loaded into cleaned and disinfected cars and shipped through from said yards in said cars to the port of export.
All animals shall be reinspected at the port of export. All railroad companies will be required to furnish clean and disinfected cars for the transportation of cattle and sheep for export, and the various stock yards located at the ports of export shall keep separate, clean, and disinfected yards for the reception of export animals only.
Shippers shall notify the inspector in charge of the yards of intended shipments of cattle, and shall give to the said inspector the locality from which said animals have been brought and the name of the feeder of said animals, and such other information as may be practicable for proper identification of the place from which said animals have come.
The inspector, after passing and tagging said cattle, shall notify the inspector in charge of the port of export of the inspection of said animals, giving him the tag numbers and the number and designation of the cars in which said animals are shipped.[Page 177]
Export animals, whenever possible, shall be unloaded at the port of export from the cars in which they have been transported directly at the wharves from which they are to be shipped. They shall not be unnecessarily passed over any highway, or removed to cars or boats which are used for conveying other animals. Boats transporting said animals to the ocean steamer must be first cleansed and disinfected under the supervision of the inspector of the port, and the ocean steamer must, before receiving said animals, be thoroughly cleansed or disinfected in accordance with the directions of said inspector. When passage upon or across the public highway is unavoidable in the transportation of animals from the cars to the boat, it must be under such careful supervision and restrictions as the inspector may direct.
Any cattle or sheep that are offered for shipment to Great Britain or Ireland or the Continent of Europe, which have not been inspected and transported in accordance with this order and regulation, or which, having been inspected, are adjudged to be infected or to have been exposed to infection so as to be dangerous to other animals, shall not be allowed to be placed upon any vessel for exportation.
The supervision of the movement of cattle from cars and yards to the ocean steamer at the ports of export will be in charge of the inspector of the port. No ocean steamer will be allowed to receive more cattle or sheep than it can comfortably carry. Overcrowding will not be permitted.
The inspector at the port of export will notify the collector of the port of the various shipments of cattle or sheep that are entitled to clearance papers, and certificates of the inspection of said animals will be given to the consignors for transmission with the bills of lading.
It is intimated in the memorandum that the Government of the United States can not prevent the exportation of infected cattle owing to its extent of coast.
It should be remembered, however, that cattle can not be taken from the United States to Europe except on vessels which are prepared to carry them; that such vessels can not leave the ports of the United States except with the knowledge of the customs officials, and that a certificate of inspection is required from an inspector of the Department of Agriculture before any vessel carrying cattle to Europe can leave an American port.
If, in spite of all these precautionary measures, whose infraction would seem impossible, the Imperial Government still entertains a fear that cattle may be taken surreptitiously to Germany, a regulation might easily be made prohibiting the importation of any cattle unaccompanied by a certificate of inspection by the Government of the United States. With these absolute and perfect safeguards against the possible introduction of infected cattle into Germany, it is not necessary to advert to the fact that there is no evidence existing that Texas fever can be communicated by American cattle to those of Europe; or, if carried, that it can be spread from animal to animal; and further, that cattle which leave the infected district soon lose the power to disseminate the disease, or that cattle which actually contract the disease do not disseminate the contagion.
The imperial decree, which the Government of the United States respectfully solicits to be revoked, not only prohibits the importation into Germany of all live cattle, but also all fresh beef coming from the United States, although it is not claimed, so far as the undersigned is aware, that any diseased or unhealthy beef was ever brought from America to the German Empire.
In order that it may be seen that it is practically impossible for any unhealthy beef to be exported from the United States to Europe and that such a total prohibition is entirely unnecessary for the protection of German herds from injury by reason of contact with American fresh beef, the undersigned ventures to set out some of the regulations in force in the United States in connection with the slaughter of cattle for export.
Proprietors of slaughterhouses, canning, salting, packing, or rendering establishments engaged in the slaughter of cattle, sheep, or swine, the carcasses or products [Page 178]of which are to become subjects of interstate or foreign commerce, shall make application to the Secretary of Agriculture for inspection of said animals and their products.
The Secretary of Agriculture will give said establishment an official number, by which all its inspected products shall be thereafter known, and this number snail be used by the inspectors of the Department of Agriculture and by the owners of said establishment to mark the products of the establishment, as hereinafter prescribed.
The Secretary of Agriculture will designate an inspector to take charge of the examination and inspection of animals and their products for each establishment which has been officially numbered, and will detail to such inspector such assistants or other employees as may be necessary to properly carry on the work of inspection at said establishment. The inspector and all employees under his direction shall have full and free access to all parts of the building or buildings used in the slaughter of animals and the conversion of their carcasses into food products.
Each employee engaged in inspection under these regulations will be furnished with a numbered badge, which must be worn in a conspicuous manner while in the performance of his official duties, and which must not be allowed to leave his possession.
An ante-mortem examination of all animals arriving at the stock yards for slaughter shall be made when they are weighed, or if not weighed, this inspection shall be made in the pens. Any animal found to be diseased or unlit for human food shall be marked by placing in the ear a metal tag bearing “U. S. Condemned” and a serial number. Such condemned animals shall be placed in pens set apart for this purpose and removed only by a numbered permit, signed by the inspector, to an abattoir or rendering works designated by the said inspector, where they shall be killed under the supervision of an employee of the Bureau of Animal Industry and rendered in such a manner that their products will be made unfit for human food.
Animals rejected on account of their pregnant or parturient condition must be held in the said pens during gestation and for ten days thereafter, unless removed by permit either for stockers or for rendering in the manner above specified.
The inspector in charge of said establishment shall carefully inspect all animals in the pens of said establishment about to be slaughtered, and no animal shall be allowed to pass to the slaughtering room until it has been so inspected. All animals found on either ante-mortem or post-mortem examination to be affected as follows are to be condemned and the carcasses thereof treated as indicated in section 7:
- Hog cholera.
- Swine plague.
- Charbon or anthrax.
- Malignant epizootic catarrh.
- Pyæmia and septicæmia.
- Mange or scab in advanced stages.
- Advanced stages of actinomycosis or lumpy jaw.
- Inflammation of the lungs, the intestines, or the peritoneum.
- Texas fever.
- Extensive or generalized tuberculosis.
- Animals in an advanced state of pregnancy or which have recently given birth to young.
- Any disease or injury causing elevation of temperature or affecting the system of the animal to a degree which would make flesh unfit for human food.
Any organ or part of a carcass which is badly bruised or affected by tuberculosis, actinomycosis, cancer, abscess, suppurating sore, or tapeworm cysts must be condemned.
The inspector or his assistant shall carefully inspect at the time of slaughter all animals slaughtered at said establishment and make a post-mortem report of the same to the Department. The head of each animal shall be held until it may be identified in case of condemnation of the carcass. Should the carcass of any animal on said post-mortem examination be found to be diseased and unfit for human food, the said carcass shall be marked with the yellow condemnation tag, and the diseased organ or parts thereof, if removed from said carcass, shall be immediately attached to same. The entire carcass shall at once be removed, under the supervision of the inspector or that of some other reliable employee of the Department of Agriculture, to tanks on the premises, and deposited therein, and rendered in such a manner as to prevent its withdrawal as a food product. Should the establishment have no facilities for thus destroying the said carcass, it must be removed from the premises by numbered permit from the inspector to rendering works designated by him, and there destroyed under his supervision in such a manner as to make it unsalable as edible meat.
Carcasses may be taken at the cooling rooms after marking with the yellow condemnation [Page 179]tag, in cases where only a portion of the carcass is condemned, and when such portion can not he removed without damage to the carcass, until it is properly chilled. After chilling the condemned portions must be cut out and removed to the tank as provided for whole carcasses. Condemned parts that can be removed without damage to the carcass must be tanked immediately after condemnation.
The inspector, or the employee detailed for such purpose, must remove the numbered stub of the condemnation, tag at time of placing the carcass or part of carcass in the tanks, and return it to the office of the inspector in charge, with a report as to the number of carcasses or parts of carcasses destroyed, the reason for destruction, and also state that they were tanked in his presence.
Should the owners of such condemned carcasses not consent to the foregoing disposition of them, then the inspector is directed to brand the word “condemned” upon each side and quarter of said carcasses and keep a record of the kind and weight of the carcasses, and they shall, under supervision of the inspector, be removed from the packing house where meats are prepared and stored for the interstate and foreign trade; and said firm or corporation shall forward, through the Secretary of Agriculture, a sworn statement, monthly, giving in detail the disposition of the carcasses so condemned, and, if the same have been sold, showing to whom, whether for consumption as food or otherwise, with what knowledge, if any, by the purchasers, of their condemnation by this Department, and whether or not before such sale carcasses have been cooked or their condition at the time of inspection by this Department altered, and if so, in what way.
The inspectors shall, when authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture, give notice by publication to the express companies and common carriers at the place of condemnation of the fact of condemnation, giving the name of the owner of such carcasses, the time and place of slaughter, the reason for rejection, and a description of the carcasses, and warning them not to transport them out of the State.
All persons are warned against removing the tags so attached to condemned carcasses, and are notified that they will be prosecuted under the acts of Congress of March 3, 1891, and March 2, 1895, for any such attempt to tamper with the device for marking condemned carcasses or parts of carcasses as prescribed by the preceding regulation.
Carcasses or parts of carcasses which leave said establishment for interstate or export trade will be tagged by the inspector, or an employee designated by him, with a numbered tag issued by the Department of Agriculture for this purpose, and a record of the same will be sent to the Department at Washington.
Each article of food products made from inspected carcasses must bear a label containing the official number of the establishment from which said product came, and also contain a statement that the same has been inspected under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1891.
A copy of said label must be filed at the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., and, after filing, said label will become the mark of identification showing that the products to which it has been attached have been inspected, as provided for by these rules and regulations; and any person who shall forge, counterfeit, alter, or deface such label will be prosecuted under penalty clause of section 4 of the act of March 3, 1891, as amended in the act of March 2, 1895.
Each package to be snipped from said establishment to any foreign country must have printed or stenciled on the side or on the top by the packer or exporter the following: “For export (a) official number of establishment; (b) number of pieces or pounds; (c) trade-mark.”
In case said package is for transportation to some other State or Territory, or to the District of Columbia, in place of the words “for export” the words “interstate trade” shall be substituted.
The letters and figures in the above print shall be of the following dimensions: The letters in the words “for export” or the words “interstate trade” shall not be less than three-fourths of an inch in length, and the other letters and figures not less than one-half inch in length. The letters and figures affixed to said package shall be black and legible, and shall be in buck proportions as the inspector of the Department of Agriculture may designate.
The inspector of the Department of Agriculture in charge of said establishment being satisfied that the articles in said packages came from animals inspected by him, and that they are wholesome, sound, and fit for human food, shall paste on said packages meat-inspection stamps bearing serial numbers.
No stamps will be issued by the inspector except to employees of this Department designated by him to supervise the affixing of said stamps to packages of inspected products, and each employee having charge of this work shall be held personally responsible for the stamps issued to him, and shall make an accurate daily report to the inspector of the use of such stamps, and all unused stamps shall be turned over to the custody of the said inspector or of his clerk at the close of each day’s work.[Page 180]
Proprietors of abattoirs will supply all the necessary help to affix the stamps, which must be done under the supervision of an employee of the inspector in charge.
No stamps will be allowed to remain loose about the office or the abattoirs, and inspectors are instructed to use such additional safeguards as in their judgment will be necessary to properly account for every stamp issued by them and to have the work of affixing so carefully supervised that nothing but packages of inspected products will be stamped with the meat-inspection stamp of this Department.
Any stamps damaged or not used should not appear upon the reports as having been affixed to packages, but should be returned to the Department and a report made as to the reasons for their return.
These regulations will also apply to meat-inspection tags or seals and certificates of inspection.
Reports of the work of inspection carried on in every establishment shall be daily forwarded to the Department by the inspector in charge, on such blank forms and in such manner as will be specified by the Department.
Whenever an abattoir suspends slaughtering operations the inspector in charge will promptly furlough without pay, until further orders, all employees whose duties are effected by such suspension, notifying this office of the date of closing down. During said suspension he will retain only such employees as are actually necessary to supervise the shipments of inspected products from the said abattoir.
Referring to the suggestion in the memorandum that “there may be difficulties attending the filling of the positions of the cattle inspectors and their assistants with the required number of thoroughly schooled and reliable persons” (which may be considered an expression of doubt as to the capacity, experience, and trustworthiness of the officers of the United States assigned to this particular duty), the undersigned is pleased to be able to assure his excellency that the efficiency and thoroughness of the inspection are as perfect as it is possible to make them. The inspection force is all in the classified service, and no appointments are made except of persons who have passed the civil-service examination and shown their competency. The inspectors and assistant inspectors are not only required to be graduates of veterinary colleges, but must, in addition, have passed a civil-service examination, showing them to be especially competent for meat inspection. That American veterinarians are regarded by German experts as holding high rank in their profession is apparent from the fact that only American authority is cited, whether in the said memorandum or the original opinion of November 7, 1894, in referring to the particular disease under consideration. The Department of Agriculture does not hesitate to guarantee that all meat inspected and certified to is from cattle in a healthy condition at the time of slaughter, and the Imperial German Government can protect itself beyond the possibility of any question against danger by limiting importation to meat which is inspected and certified to by the United States Government.
As to the alleged apprehended danger of spreading diseases with the blood and carcasses of affected animals, referred to in the memorandum, it is sufficient to cite the experience of the United States, where, with millions of cattle slaughtered each year, the meat of which is transported and distributed to all parts of the country, the undersigned is able to positively assert upon the authority of the Agricultural Department that there has never been one case of disease produced in this way in any foreign country to which meats from the United States have been sent, although many millions of carcasses have been exported.
It certainly would seem unnecessary to prohibit the importation of one of the principal articles of export of the United States upon the ground that such action is necessary to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases, when the contagion mentioned has never been carried by the prohibited article, either in the exporting or any other country.[Page 181]
It is thus seen that all the cattle slaughtered for the production of dressed beef for export are inspected and the beef exported is certified by the Government of the United States as free from disease.
The memorandum is entirely incorrect in the statement that there has been a postponement of the time for “the regulations for the inspection of live stock and their products to go into effect.”
These regulations have been in full force and effect in substantially their present form since 1891.
The regulations of June 14, 1895, which were substituted for those of 1891, simply made certain changes in matters of detail, with the object of benefiting by the experience of the previous four years in the administrative work.
These regulations went into effect July 1, 1895, and have never been revoked, postponed, or held in abeyance.
The order which was postponed was one requiring a certificate of inspection with all beef products, whether fresh, salted, canned, corned, packed, or otherwise prepared. This order was postponed because it was too comprehensive and threatened difficulties with the trade of the United States in salted meats from Gulf and Pacific ports with South and Central America.
There never has been a time since 1891 when the Government of the United States could not have inspected all the fresh, salted, or canned beef that would be offered for German markets under the most favorable regulation that could be suggested for its introduction into that country.
In the year 1892 there were exported from the United States into Germany live cattle of the valuation of $448,480; in the year 1893, of the valuation of $41,800; in the year 1894, of the valuation of $285,792—values which represent a large number of cattle exported.
It is a significant and instructive fact that in no single instance has the disease, as to which it is now urged there is such a grave apprehension of danger, ever been communicated to German cattle.
In this connection the undersigned ventures to refer to the very able and exhaustive report recently published by Mr. O’Beirne, third secretary of the British embassy at Washington, to his Government, and highly commended by the British ambassador, on “The United States cattle-raising industry in 1896 and the export of cattle and beef to Great Britain.”
Mr. O’Beirne deals in extenso with the subject of cattle raising in the United States, with particular reference to the exports to Great Britain, treating it historically, statistically, and economically in great detail, and at no point, from the beginning to the end, does he refer to any possible danger to English herds from the introduction of American cattle and fresh beef.
He says, among other things, that the extent of the influence on English prices of the import of American cattle maybe estimated from the fact that the United States in 1894 provided some three fourths of the total imports of live cattle and nearly six-tenths of the imports of fresh beef into Great Britain, while the imports, both of States cattle and beef, for the five months January to May of 1896, have been so large that the current year’s imports will show an increase over all previous years; that the export of live cattle to British ports, which in five years preceding 1885 had averaged some 100,000 head, more than trebled itself between that year and 1892, when it reached a total of 378,000 head. Similarly the export of fresh beef rose from 111,000,000 pounds in 1885 to 219,000,000 pounds in 1892. That cattle exported as [Page 182]above to Great Britain are, for the most part, 3 and 4 years old, selected from the highest class of beeves raised in the cattle States west of the Mississippi and marketed in Chicago; that the following table shows the export to Great Britain of live cattle and fresh beef during the past ten years:
|Year.||Cattle (head).||Fresh beef (1,000 pounds).||Year.||Cattle (head).||Fresh beef (1,000 pounds).|
Mr. O’Beirne further observes:
The export of live cattle, which, as has been seen, rose rapidly in the years preceding 1892, has since averaged a figure somewhat below that then reached, and has been subject to extreme variations. The great decrease shown in 1895 is to be accounted for by the scarcity of corn in that year, which, as has been noticed, caused a considerable reduction of the receipts at the western markets and a large rise of prices at Chicago. The export to Great Britain for the first five months of the current year was 175,000 head, as compared with 112,000 head for the same period last year. If this rate per month be sustained, the year’s export will be over 400,000 head, or larger even than in 1892. The London and Liverpool markets have been so heavily supplied that the prices of American beeves have there fallen as low as 9 to 9½ cents per pound (estimated dressed weight). The course of development of the chilled-beef export trade has been very similar to that of live cattle. Taking 600 pounds as the average weight of cattle slaughtered for the dressed-beef trade, last year’s export of fresh beef to Great Britain represented a number of cattle nearly equal to that exported alive. The past five months’ export of chilled beef was 108,759,600 pounds, as compared with 81,841,065 pounds for the same period last year. At this rate the year’s export will be some 60,000,000 pounds greater than in 1892.
In no case has any disease been communicated to English cattle from those thus imported.
An importation during a period of ten years into Great Britain of 2,245,233 head of American bullocks on foot, and 1,582,387 pounds of American beef in the carcass, not followed in a single instance by the communication to English herds of contamination or taint, constitutes a most remarkable and instructive record, illustrating the healthy condition of exported American beeves and fresh meat, and the splendid system of American veterinary inspection, demonstrating, moreover, that similar importations into Germany would be followed by similar results, and that the total prohibition thereof can not be supported or sustained upon the plea of sanitary necessity.
The following is an abstract of an article by Boysen and Nollers, veterinarians at Hamburg, which appeared last year in the Hygienische Rundschau, as to the general condition of American cattle:
The authors protest against the misrepresentations and fears which are scattered through the newspapers that tuberculosis exists in cattle in America to an enormous degree, and also that pleuropneumonia is still more prevalent, and that the American stock raisers are forced on this account to ship their cattle to Europe at a merely nominal price.
In Hamburg, from the year 1889 to the present time, there were in all 7,104, and in other German cities altogether 819 imported cattle slaughtered. These animals were subjected to a careful veterinary inspection, not only before being slaughtered, but afterwards as well. It was impossible to find pleuropneumonia in a single case, while tuberculosis was present in only four of these animals. In two of the latter the entire carcasses were condemned, while with the other two it was only necessary to condemn single organs. Accordingly only one-twentieth of 1 per cent of the American cattle were tuberculous, while 8 percent of the German steers slaughtered in Hamburg have been found tubercular. It is noticed, parenthetically, that, strange to say, the American cattle were entirely free from liver flukes. The authors consider the condition of this stock as fully equal to that of the stock raised on the [Page 183]home meadow lands. Boysen and Nollers see a certain danger in the American meat for the German producers and for the German meat trade which is well founded, not only on account of the lower price, but in the high standard of cattie breeding and in the perfect health of the American cattle. The German stock raisers are advised to study the achievements of the Americans in the field of stock raising, and to examine and consider how the tuberculosis, which is constantly spreading around them in the German stock, may be arrested.
In connection with the statement hereinbefore made, upon the authority of the Department of Agriculture, that not one animal in any of the foreign countries to which American cattle have been exported has ever communicated Texas fever, the undersigned is not unmindful of the opinion of the imperial sanitary bureau dated November 7, 1894, referred to in the memorandum, upon which the imperial decree of exclusion was predicated.
In certain previous correspondence upon this subject, it seems to have been assumed that it had been officially ascertained, and so declared in this opinion, that Texas fever was found to exist among the two cargoes of American cattle which arrived at Hamburg by the steamship Persia, in September, and the steamship Prussia, in October, 1894.
The undersigned has examined that opinion with care, and is unable to discover therein any assertion, statement, or declaration that there was a single case of Texas fever on board of either of those steamers.
No expert is therein referred to who ventured to pronounce the discovered sickness Texas fever.
Moreover, it does not appear that the veterinarians or experts who examined the cattle, or any of the diseased parts, had ever diagnosed, treated, or even seen a case of Texas fever. On the contrary, the opinion in effect recites that they were entirely unfamiliar with this disorder.
The opinion recites that the steamer Persia arrived at Hamburg on September 26 with 392 out of 396 head of cattle shipped from New York and among them were 34 bulls.
That during the usual examination made by the Hamburg state veterinary surgeon on September 27 it was noticed that several of these bulls had a diseased appearance; that one died, and several were slaughtered; the opinion then describes the symptoms and conditions of the animals alive, and the disclosure upon post-mortem examination states that the bacterial inspection made of the carcasses in Hamburg and Altona gave no definite results. In Alton a egg-shaped bacteria were cultivated from the blood and organs of diseased animals which resembled the bacteria of the chicken cholera and hog diseases; that mice and rabbits inoculated therewith died in from two to four days; that an ox inoculated with the infusion (bouillon-culture) was sick for a time but regained his health entirely.
That it being determined the animals were affected with a fatal disease not before observed in Germany, and the diseased condition of the animals corresponded in the main points with the disease as described by American writers, and the results of the bacteriological examination so fully agreed with the results of Dr. Billings, of Nebraska, that an outbreak of this disease had to be assumed.
The diseased animals, 18 in number, were turned over to the flayer and the remainder slaughtered.
That before the scientific examination regarding the disease had terminated, another shipment of 369 head of cattle arrived in Hamburg on October 20 by the steamer Prussia.
That during the usual examination as to the healthfulness of this consignment, an ox found to be sick with symptons of an epidemic [Page 184]disease was slaughtered at once and dissected in order to determine the actual disease; that (the symptoms of this animal being described) a piece of spleen (Milz), a piece of liver, and a piece of lymph duct were sent to the Imperial health department. Other parts of the organs (Anstrichpräparate, smear preparations) were personally taken by the committee of the bacterial laboratory in Hamburg.
The results of these experiments follow:
The opinion thereupon further recites that there was an unsuccessful attempt made to transmit the disease to small animals used for experimenting as well as the raising of cultures from the microparasites, according to the known bacteriological methods; that the examinations made independently by the Bacteriological Institute of the Royal Veterinary High School of this city, which had also received a diseased part, had no result; that the condition of the blood of the diseased cattle landed with the steamer Prussia fully corresponded with the results which the American experts, Smith and Kilbourne, had officially reported to the Department of Agriculture, after they had made a scientific examination on Texas fever; that similar observations have thus far not been made with any other contagious disease among American cattle; that according to the said authors, the existence of the said microparasites in the red corpuscles of the blood of American cattle is characteristic of Texas fever; that these circumstances make it probable in a high degree that the diseased animals on the steamer Persia also had Texas fever, although not the Smith-Kilbourne micro-parasite, but forms similar to the bacteria observed by Frank Billings were shown to exist; that it must be taken into consideration that the knowledge of Texas fever in Germany is based solely on American sources, and that, even in America itself, contradictory opinions prevail as to the causes and the spread of the disease.
The opinion thereupon quotes from the American work of Smith and Kilbourne as to Texas fever, its symptoms, the appearance and condition of the affected animals; states the theory of these authors as to the cause of the disease and its means of communication; refers to the conflicting theory of Frank Billings, of Nebraska; states that the disease has thus far not been observed in Germany, but there is danger of its introduction from America, as the American authorities have not been successful in limiting the disease to its original boundaries; that an unhindered exportation of cattle may furthermore take place from the infected Southern States along the very extended coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico; that the question as to the cause as well as to the manner in which Texas fever is spread is not for the present to be regarded as solved.
The opinion, after expressing apprehension of the introduction of Texas fever into Germany from the United States, concludes as follows:
Under these circumstances it lies in the veterinary police interest to forbid the importation of live cattle from America.
There appears to be no recommendation for the exclusion of American fresh beef.
It nowhere appears in this opinion, so far as the undersigned is able to discover, that any animal in these two consignments was pronounced by any veterinary or other authority to be affected with Texas fever. The opinion abounds with descriptions of symptoms and conditions (many of which are not characteristic of Texas fever), with suggestions of doubt, of suspicion, of possibilities and probabilities, but contain [Page 185]no expression of a professional judgment or opinion from any source that Texas fever in fact existed.
It is thus made to appear:
- That the objections raised in the note and memorandum aforesaid against the revocation of the order of exclusion proceeded upon an entire misapprehension of the situation as affecting the cattle industry of the United States, and that, considered in the light of the real facts, the objections are without force.
- The general character of the cattle exported from the United States, their condition and healthfulness, can not be surpassed and probably are not equaled by the cattle of any other country in the world.
- A small part of the United States, out of an immense territory, is infected with Texas fever; but this district is most carefully guarded and quarantined, and from it no animal can be exported.
- The United States maintains a most intelligent, thorough, and efficient veterinary inspection in connection with the slaughter of cattle and exportations to foreign markets.
- From the many million head of live cattle and the immense quantity of fresh beef exported to Europe not a single case of contagion or contamination has resulted.
- All exported cattle and fresh beef are inspected and certified by the United States Government.
- There is no possible danger to German cattle from contact with exported beeves and fresh beef from the United States.
In the light of these facts, so patent and so palpable, the undersigned on behalf of and under instructions of his Government very respectfully but most earnestly asks that a decree which does not regulate but discriminates against, entirely shuts out from Germany, and pro tanto cripples an important branch of the export trade of the United States may now be revoked.
The undersigned long since noted with great satisfaction the observation to his immediate predecessor by His Excellency Baron Marschall von Bieberstein ( Foreign Relations, 1894, p. 230), and that of His Excellency Baron von Saurma, then the German imperial ambassador at Washington, in his note to the Secretary of State ( Foreign Relations, 1894, p. 232) that the decree now sought to be set aside was not conceived in a spirit of retaliation toward the United States, but was adopted purely as a sanitary measure at the time, deemed essential for the preservation of the health of German cattle.
The undersigned has the utmost faith that the Imperial German Government, animated by that lofty spirit of justice and fair dealing which has so long and so conspicuously characterized its consideration and treatment of the trade relations between the two countries, will not hesitate, it now appearing there is no substantial reason for its further continuance, to set aside a decree which has interrupted a branch of commerce of great value to the American producer and to the German consumer as well.
The undersigned avails himself of the occasion to express to his excellency the assurance of his most distinguished consideration.