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D S Wishart Reccommends:

Old hands who worked at the State Research Farm Werribee and other animal research establishments will recognise the seminal importance of these recommendations.  See also D S Wishart's contribution.

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Wishart recommendations following 1949 Study Tour

 

The following is a verbatim reproduction of the Recommendations from Dr Wishart's report on a nine-month study tour which took in research establishments in the UK, Europe, the United States and New Zealand.

Recommendations

The following recommendations are made concerning the organisation of animal husbandry research in the Department of Agriculture.

Dairy Cattle:                                     Use of pasture as the basis of the ration
                                                           Infertility
                                                           Collection of identical twin calves

Sheep:                                               Supplementary and drought feeding
                                                           Fertility

                                                           Progeny testing in Down breed

Beef Cattle:                                      Records of performance

Pigs:                                                  Records of performance

                                                           Losses in young pigs

Poultry:                                             Breeding for egg quality

                                                           Storage of eggs, in relation to farm conditions and egg quality.

  1. It is recommended that steps be taken to recruit the necessary professional staff, along the lines indicated in this report.
    It is considered that at least one officer should be engaged in work with each species of livestock, and thus keep abreast of overseas and Australian research work in his field, and its application to local conditions.
    It is suggested that the animal husbandry research staff should not undertake extension work, except where their specialist knowledge is required. Nevertheless, close contact with the livestock industry is essential, both directly and through the appropriate extension staff of the Department.
    It is considered that qualifications should include a degree, in Agricultural Science or Veterinary Science if possible (the latter degree being essential in certain cases, eg, infertility in cattle), or in science in the case of a chemist.
  1. It is recommended that consideration be given to the possibility of training an animal geneticist overseas.
    It is not suggested that an animal geneticist is required immediately, but that the above step should be taken in view of the increasing importance of genetics in the field of animal production.

SUMMARY

Following an overseas tour in March-December, 1949, the itinerary of which is set out, a number of observations on animal husbandry research in overseas countries is recorded. The most important trends observed were the increasing attention to animal genetics, the widespread use of identical twin cattle, and the basic studies of nutrition of cows grazing on pasture.

The general problems of animal production in Victoria are discussed, with particular reference to those aspects which are believed to contribute most to the limitations of efficiency of production. Indications are given of the application of overseas work to local conditions, although this application is, in general, rather limited on account of the different conditions of livestock management found overseas.

The requirements for an animal husbandry research unit in the Department of Agriculture are outlined. The State Research Farm is considered a convenient location for the main centre, although the Farm has certain limitations; suggestions are made concerning its facilities and its livestock policy.

An outline of the work which it is proposed should be undertaken with the establishment of the research centre is given, and the general requirements for staff, facilities, and stock are discussed, including the provision of a central laboratory building.

Recommendations are made concerning the organisation of animal husbandry research in Victoria, with particular reference to the establishment of the centre at the State Research Farm.

 

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