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                                                       No. 7804G.


          S. G. HART, ESQ., I.C.S.,


                                                EASTERN BENGAL AND ASSAM,



                                      EASTERN BENGAL AND ASSAM,

                                                           Shillong, the 24th July 1908.

      I HAVE the honour to forward the Report of the Veterinary Department of
this province for the year 1907-08, together with a report by Mr. McCaldron, the
special Veterinary Officer employed under the Surma Valley Branch of the Tea Asso-

2.   Mr. McCaldron's services were enlisted at a time when the Department was
hopelessly undermanned and quite unable to cope with the epidemic of rinderpest which
was sweeping away vast numbers of the cattle in the villages and tea-gardens of the
Surma Valley. Some idea of the value of the work done by Mr. McCaldron and his
two Assistants can be formed when it is mentioned that during the year they have
inoculated over twenty-two thousand cattle in villages where 1,080 cattle had already
died of rinderpest. Of the inoculated animals only 98 are reported to have subse-
quently died. Some outbreaks of anthrax and hæmorrhagic septicæmia were also
dealt with by inoculation, and large numbers of cattle were medically treated. Up to
the end of 1907-08 Government had contributed Rs. 15,000 towards the cost of this
special veterinary establishment, and grants were also made by the Local Boards of the
Surma Valley. In recognition of the excellent results attained, Government has made
a further grant of Rs. 10,000 for the year 1908-09. A statement of accounts has been
furnished by the Secretary of the Surma Valley Branch of the Tea Association, which
is enclosed herewith as Appendix B.

3.   The year under report has been one of considerable development. Exclusive
of the temporary establishment in the Surma Valley, the Department comprised at the
commencement of the year one Inspector and eleven Assistants. At the end of the
year the strength had increased to one Superintendent, two Inspectors and twenty-five
Assistants. The permanent and temporary establishments combined have inoculated,
some 64,000 animals, veterinary officers on tour have given medical treatment other
than inoculation to over 35,000 animals and nearly 14,000 more have been treated
in veterinary hospitals and dispensaries.

4.  It is becoming recognised more and more that the most valuable work the
Department can do is to throw the whole of its resources and energies into fighting
outbreaks of rinderpest. From over 52,000 cattle inoculated for rinderpest during
1907-08 only 387 are known to have died. As it is not always possible to obtain
accurate reports, we may assume that possibly 1,000 died. Now it is not unlikely
that of the 52,000 not less than 13,000 would have died if they had not been inoculat-
ed. The Department may therefore claim to have saved during the year some 12,000
cattle, the value of which at Rs. 30 per head would be Rs. 3,60,000 or more than six
times the total expenditure of the Department on superintendence, subordinate estab-
lishment, hospitals and dispensaries.

5.  It will no doubt be the aim of the Superintendent to develope this side of the
work. His chief difficulties are inadequacy of staff and the apathy of the people.
It is known that in every district of the province large numbers of cattle are carried
off every year by disease, but it is as yet only in the districts of the Assam and Surma
Valleys, which have for a fairly long time had the benefit of competent veterinary
assistance, that the people take the trouble to report when an outbreak of disease
occurs. Instructions have already been issued to the police to report all outbreaks to

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