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Civil Veterinary Material in the NLS India Papers Collection A previously neglected resource for historical research.

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Presentation on theme: "Civil Veterinary Material in the NLS India Papers Collection A previously neglected resource for historical research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil Veterinary Material in the NLS India Papers Collection A previously neglected resource for historical research

2 Overview of the paper The wider significance of the veterinary material The wider significance of the veterinary material It’s specific significance to my research project It’s specific significance to my research project

3 Outcomes of the Collaboration My PhD thesis: ‘The Civil Veterinary Departments of British India : Science, medicine, power and nature in a colonial context’. My PhD thesis: ‘The Civil Veterinary Departments of British India : Science, medicine, power and nature in a colonial context’. ‘Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health in British India’ phase of ‘The Medical History of British India’ online resource. ‘Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health in British India’ phase of ‘The Medical History of British India’ online resource.

4 Overview of the Material 1.) Veterinary Diseases Collection 2.) Civil Veterinary Department (Central) 3.) Civil Veterinary Departments (Provincial) 4.) Veterinary Colleges and Laboratories

5 Indian Eco-Regions

6 Historical Debates 1. Questioning the ‘Civil’ in the Civil Veterinary Service 2. Veterinary medicine & metropolitan profit 3. Indigenous mediation of veterinary policy

7 Elephants transporting heavy artillery to a hill station, c. 1935

8 1.) Military work, civil cost? ‘[This is] another sign of the rampant militarism under which India groans, while the soil cries out for improvement’ ‘[This is] another sign of the rampant militarism under which India groans, while the soil cries out for improvement’ - Indian Agriculturalist (1886) - Indian Agriculturalist (1886) The CVDs were not intended to ‘help veterinary investigation, much less serve the cause of Indian agriculture’ The CVDs were not intended to ‘help veterinary investigation, much less serve the cause of Indian agriculture’ -Deepak Kumar (2006) -Deepak Kumar (2006) ‘Colonial veterinary activities… began, and continued for much of the colonial period, in a military context’ ‘Colonial veterinary activities… began, and continued for much of the colonial period, in a military context’ -Diana Davis (2005) -Diana Davis (2005)

9 Reports on animal disease ‘A note on surra [trypanosomiasis] in camels for commandants of camel corps’- HE Cross, Lahore, 1914 ‘A note on surra [trypanosomiasis] in camels for commandants of camel corps’- HE Cross, Lahore, 1914 ‘Report on his [Steel’s] investigation into…fatal disease among transport mules in British Burma’- JH Steel, 1885 ‘Report on his [Steel’s] investigation into…fatal disease among transport mules in British Burma’- JH Steel, 1885 ‘Elephants and their diseases’- GH Evans, 1910 ‘Elephants and their diseases’- GH Evans, 1910 ‘Report on horse surra’- Alfred Lingard, 1893 ‘Report on horse surra’- Alfred Lingard, 1893

10 Animal Draught Power- Figures from 1938 ‘The whole of Indian cultivation rests on the bovine population’ ‘The whole of Indian cultivation rests on the bovine population’ Total bovine value- £750m Total bovine value- £750m Total livestock value- £1,500 million - more than estimated annual crop value Total livestock value- £1,500 million - more than estimated annual crop value Source: R.G. Allan ‘Agriculture- Crops, Farmers and Departments’ (ICS Probationers’ Manual, 1938)

11 Dual military/civil functions- Camels Camels vital to civil transportation Camels vital to civil transportation A new laboratory at Sowaha (1923) allowed CVD activities to become ‘more closely identified with the needs of the district’ A new laboratory at Sowaha (1923) allowed CVD activities to become ‘more closely identified with the needs of the district’ Source: Punjab CVD, ‘A Short History of Surra Treatment in the Punjab’, Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, Vol. 4, 1934

12 Dual civil/military function- Horses Horses work the land at depots in Babugarh and Hapore Horses work the land at depots in Babugarh and Hapore Classes in harness making and ploughing Classes in harness making and ploughing Prizes at Quetta horse show Prizes at Quetta horse show ‘[I hope] that in the course of a year or two, Beluchis will utilise nothing else but broad mares on the land’ ‘[I hope] that in the course of a year or two, Beluchis will utilise nothing else but broad mares on the land’

13 2.) CVDs and Economic Imperatives Metropolitan profit or indigenous prosperity? Metropolitan profit or indigenous prosperity? Economic or humanitarian concerns? Economic or humanitarian concerns? Safeguarding revenue or ameliorating famine? Safeguarding revenue or ameliorating famine?

14 Famine & the Raj Famine increased under British rule Famine increased under British rule 90 major famines in previous 2,000 years 90 major famines in previous 2,000 years 66% occurred since % occurred since 1701

15 Raymond Crotty (2001) A narrow focus on disease prevention A narrow focus on disease prevention Natural demographic control mechanism of animal disease removed Natural demographic control mechanism of animal disease removed Overgrazing Overgrazing Animal malnutrition Animal malnutrition

16 Raymond Crotty (2001) Veterinary medicine allowed animals to survive at ever lower levels of nutrition Veterinary medicine allowed animals to survive at ever lower levels of nutrition Malnourished animals provided less nourishment for people Malnourished animals provided less nourishment for people Human medicine allowed people to survive at ever lower levels of nutrition Human medicine allowed people to survive at ever lower levels of nutrition

17 Daniel Hall, ‘Veterinarians as officers of animal health’ Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, 1934 Prophylactic rather than curative medicine Prophylactic rather than curative medicine Dealing with the root cause of disease- malnutrition Dealing with the root cause of disease- malnutrition Greater emphasis on fodder cultivation and pasture management Greater emphasis on fodder cultivation and pasture management

18 Daniel Hall, ‘Veterinarians as officers of animal health’ Indian Journal of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, 1934 British veterinarians in the metropole focus on curing disease, rather than animal health British veterinarians in the metropole focus on curing disease, rather than animal health ‘It is only latterly that we have really begun to appreciate what an enormous factor nutrition is in the health of livestock: we do not even know all that is yet necessary’ ‘It is only latterly that we have really begun to appreciate what an enormous factor nutrition is in the health of livestock: we do not even know all that is yet necessary’

19 DiseaseTreatment Rinderpest Ghee, buttermilk, rice, juice of jamboo tree, plantain Foot and Mouth Babul bark applied to mouth, tar and lime to affected parts; Stood in salt water then driven through hot ashes Pleuro-pneumonia Ghee; Camphor wood burnt near cattle shed Charbon symptomatique Buttermilk, juice of kawit leaves, given internally

20 Treatment: Rinderpest District Total Infected No. Died Treated By Success rate (%) Kolaba Veterinary Graduate (VG) 55 Nasik12221VG83 Belgaum204VG80 Total642252VG61 Kanara288120Owners58 Poona12272Owners41 Total410192Owners53

21 Treatment- Foot and Mouth District Total Infected No. Died Treated by Success rate (%) Kolaba VG90 Nasik550VG100 Grand Total VG90 Poona530Owners100 Ahmednagar1460Owners Owners100

22 Treatment- Charbon Symptomatique District Total Infected No. Died Treated By Success Rate (%) Ahmedabad204202VG1 Nasik2821Owners25

23 Overall Results 3, 293 animals treated by VGs 3, 293 animals treated by VGs Success rate- 55% 634 animals treated by owners 634 animals treated by owners Success rate 77% Disease Success rate (VG) Success rate (owner) Rinderpest6153 Foot and Mouth Charbon symptomatique 125

24 Summary Tentative conclusions:  The CVDs were not merely civil institutions carrying out military work  A narrow focus on curtailing contagious animal diseases was not uniquely colonial  A connection between animal health and nutrition may have been made by colonial veterinarians prior to the 1930s

25 Summary Broader significance of the NLS material:  Contributes to wider debates on the autonomy of colonial scientists  Useful for social-historical research  Can contribute to the environmental history of South Asia


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