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A meeting of the Australasian Veterinary Medical Association was held at Menzies' Hotel on Wednesday evening, the 11th inst., Mr. Graham Mitchell, vice-president, in the chair. The minutes of the previous meeting and correspondence having been read, some discussion took place in reference to the ap- pointment of a new president in the place of Sir Charles MacMahon, resigned, and it was decided that the election should take place at the next meeting of the association.
Mr. MITCHELL stated that on his recent visit to Sydney he had waited on Dr. McKellar, the chief medical officer for New South Wales, in reference to the supposed outbreak of rabies in dogs, and from the de- scription of one of the cases which had come under the notice of the doctor, he (Mr.
Mitchell) was of opinion that there was cer- tainly cause for grave suspicion, and regretted that the dog in question had not been allowed to bite some other animals (experi- mentally), or that some of the virus had not been obtained for the purpose of inoculation, in order to fairly test the nature of the disease. In view of the probable spread of this terrible malady throughout the colonies, a select committee was appointed to draw up a circular, describing the more prominent symptoms of rabies in dogs, in order that it may be the more readily distinguished by the general public, with directions for the treat- ment to be adopted in the event of a person or animal being bitten by an affected dog. The attention of the meeting was then called to a letter which appeared in a recent issue of The Argus, in which the writer suggested that, with a view to the extermination of rabbits, a number should be inoculated with tubercular matter, and turned loose, whereby the disease would be communicated to others of their species, causing rapid fatality among them. The members of the association present were unanimous in their opinion that if this were attempted the disease would not confine itself to rabbits, but be spread broad- cast among other animals and human beings.
Among the correspondence read were two very interesting communications, one from Baron von Mueller, in which he says - "I would like to mention, what seems to be forgotten, that many years ago a boy was bitten in Hobart Town by a rabid dog, and that the poor child died from clearly-defined and unmistakably pronounced hydrophobia. The case was recorded in the Medical Journal at the time, and I remember that Dr. Agnew was one of the several doctors who attended this the only solitary case of rabies ever pre- viously reported in Australia." The other letter was from Mr. Duncan Hutcheon, M.R.C.V.S., colonial veterinary surgeon Cape of Good Hope, describing a disease which prevailed there among sheep and goats, which had carried off thousands of them, and asking for information as to whether it bears any analogy to the outbreak of Cumber- land disease which occurred in the western
district of Victoria in 1877.
A committee having been appointed to draw up a reply to Mr. Hutcheon's letter, and to thank him for the copy of his annual report to the Cape Government, which it was decided should be placed at the disposal of the press, the meeting terminated.