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Chapter XIX



Animal Farms, Captured Animals, and Privately Owned Animals

Though Army horses and mules, Army dogs, and signal pigeons comprised the main reasons for a veterinary service with animals in World War II, there were a number of other groups of animals which were provided professional care and treatment. Such animal groups presenting the more significant problems were livestock animals, captured animals, and troop mascots or pet animals belonging to military personnel.


In World War II, the Army Veterinary Service provided professional services and supervised operations at a dozen or more livestock and poultry farms whose animal populations involved at least a thousand cattle and hogs and several thousand chickens. Though farms of various sorts have been operated since the earliest days of the Army, they were concerned mainly with the growing of vegetables or the harvesting of forage.

While there were a number of cogent reasons for their operation during World War II, the animal farms were more commonly used as a means of adding fresh foods to the rations in Army hospitals. At least two poultry farms were established for this reason alone, one on New Caledonia (in the South Pacific Area) (1) and the other at Townsville, Australia (in the Southwest Pacific Area) (2). The former, with as many as 2,800 birds as of December 1944 that were raised from chicks imported from Australia, lasted until September 1945. In the Zone of Interior, before the Army monetary system of food supply was replaced by the issue-in-kind ration, the output of such farms was planned by stations and units to build up so-called ration savings credits which could be diverted toward other purposes. Many such farms, having been operated throughout the preceding peacetime period by the Quartermaster Corps, Army Exchange System, or separate units,1 were continued in World War II. The improvement of troop morale was another reason for their establishment or expanded operations, particularly in the oversea theaters where the farms provided a more varied diet of fresh meats and eggs.  In the theaters, hog production was favored because, unlike cattle and poultry which required that supplements be imported into the

1Available records indicate that animal farms, before World War II, were operated at the following camps: Fort Bayard, N. Mex., Fort Belvoir, Va., Carlisle Barracks, Pa., Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Clark, Tex., Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., Fort Reno, Okla., Fort Riley, Kans., Fort Robinson, Nebr., Front Royal, Va., Fort Leavenworth, Kans., and Jefferson Barracks, Mo. Probably there were others.


FIGURE 77.-Army hog farm in Levant Service Command, U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East.

area, the hogs could be fed on the garbage from troop messhalls and could provide, at the same time, a means of disposing of edible garbage.2 Damaged subsistence, as it became available, was added to this garbage. Damaged subsistence was used in the feeding of hogs on farms which were established in the Middle East theater (3) during 1943 at Decamere, Eritrea, and Tel Witwinsky, Palestine (figs. 77 and 78), and in the China-Burma-India theater (4) at Agra, Calcutta, and Ledo, India (figs. 79 and 80). In the latter theater, "enterprising veterinary officers operated poultry farms at a few stations, feeding the birds on grain, kitchen wastes, and spoiled canned milk, in an attempt to soften the leathery birds."

Although food production was the main objective of the Army's animal farms, the Army Air Forces at Mitchel Field, N.Y., found that animals could

2Ordinarily, Army hog farms were not established in oversea populous areas where the edible garbage found a ready market with the local civilian hog producers. Unfortunately, the Army was often embarrassed to the extent that such garbage was claimed to lessen hog raising, spread disease (notable hog cholera), and, at times, kill the hogs. The fact was that the civilian hog producers-then provided with large quantities of Army garbage-failed to balance or supplement the garbage feed with concentrates and were unequipped to process (or pasteurize) the Army garbage in compliance with local civilian laws and regulations. Such occurred in the European theater, the Southwest Pacific Area (in Australia), and in the Central Pacific Area (in the Territory of Hawaii). In the latter command, a veterinary officer could find no reason for the Army to expend money to collect and heat garbage at a central point before distribution to commercial hog producers and, at another time, joined in an investigation of a pending claim against the Army that eventually showed that Army garbage was not "poisoned" by contamination in an Army messhall but by a jealous neighboring producer whose source of supply was suddenly stopped when "his" Army units were moved elsewhere. So far as it was known, the edible garbage was made available without cost to the hog producers who could show need for it and could assure regular collections of such garbage from the messhalls; reasonable precautions were taken within the Army to incure its nonpoisonous character and edibility for hogs.


FIGURE 78.-Army hog farm at Decamere, Eritrea.

be beneficially used in rehabilitating hospital patients (5) and for that purpose procured a farm which was operated under the supervision of the airbase veterinarian (figs. 81 and 82). Other animal farms which were provided with veterinary services included those operated in the prisoner-of-war camps at Alva, Okla., and McLean, Tex.

A more patent reason was given for the establishment and operation of farms by Army task forces on two island bases in the Central Pacific Area (6). Vulnerable to isolation and starvation in the event of a Japanese naval blockade after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Christmas Island forces in February 1942 assumed control over a few cattle, hogs, and poultry which had been imported earlier by the U.S. Engineer Department at the start of construction on an airfield; later in that year, 150 hogs and 125 chickens were shipped from the Hawaiian Islands to the Army task force on Canton Island (fig. 83). With the westward retreat of the Japanese Navy, the task force farms lost their immediate military purpose, and the farm animals on Canton Island were disposed of by slaughter in June 1943. The larger and more diversified farm (including 27 dairy cows and 2 dairy bulls, 88 sows and 3 boars, and 375 poultry, as of December 1942) on Christmas Island was continued, however, until after V-J Day. The latter, under the control of a veterinary officer, provided a fresh milk, egg, and meat supply to the hospital as well as to the garrison's troop messhalls; during the period from November 1943 through September 1944, the farm's production had a monetary value of $14,700 (6). It may be noted that the original potential as "living food reserves" of these task force farms in the Pacific had gained military importance from the early reports that Army horses and mules and  


FIGURE 79.-Hogs maintained by the Army at the Ledo, India, farm being treated for screw-worm infestation.

locally procured carabao were the last sources of meat supplied to the defenders of the Philippine Islands before their surrender to the Japanese at Corregidor (in April 1942) (7, 8, 9). The veterinary officers included in these Philippine forces, subsequently as prisoners of war of the Japanese, were frequently detailed to stock farms at prison camps.

Whenever animal farms were operated, veterinary officers rendered the required professional services, supervised their sanitary aspects, and maintained regulatory controls against animal diseases. During World War II, these activities were greatly increased and usually included the actual operation of the animal farms where the veterinary officers were the only qualified personnel available. In this connection, the veterinary officers of Army Garrison Forces in the Central Pacific Area were called upon to attend the animal livestock farms which were established by the Navy's CA/MG (Civil Affairs/Military Government) units, following the invasion landings on Guam, Saipan, and Tinian (in the Mariana Islands). Similar assistance was  


FIGURE 80.-Army hog farm at Ledo, India

FIGURE 81.-Hospital patient working on the animal farm at Pawling Convalescent Center, N.Y.  


FIGURE 82.-Diversified animal farm, Pawling Convalescent Center, N.Y. This farm was under the supervision of the veterinary officer, Mitchel Field, N.Y., specifically to aid in the recreational training and rehabilitation of hospital patients.

provided by the Army Veterinary Service in the South Atlantic theater at the joint Army-Navy hog and poultry farm which was maintained for about 2 years at Recife, Brazil; also, in Natal, Brazil, the U.S. Office of Inter?American Affairs called on a veterinary officer to assist Brazilian authorities on a hog production project (10). The added wartime responsibilities included that veterinary officers (1) survey the farm sites, (2) plan the farm construction and abattoirs, (3) recommend the kinds and breeds of livestock and poultry most practical to raise, (4) investigate the water and local food supply as to availability and adequacy, and (5) obtain such command support necessary to insure the maintenance of the farm on a high level of efficiency.

The professional problems centered on the control of animal diseases to insure farm animal efficiency and to protect troop health. These diseases included a peculiar type of respiratory disorder, observed in the chickens on New Caledonia, which was attributed to an imbalanced diet, and pig anemia, on the farm on Christmas Island. In the Marianas Islands and elsewhere, hogs were routinely immunized against hog cholera. Unfortunately, the establishment of adequate measures for the protection of troop health was more difficult. The fresh milk production from some of the Army's dairy herds


FIGURE 83.-Army task force dairy herd, Christmas Island.

was unpasteurized or handled under elementary hygienic conditions (11), and the meat-producing animals were too often slaughtered in makeshift abattoirs. Some of the health dangers of the Army's fresh-milk production were reduced, with continued emphasis on farm sanitation and the examination of the dairy cows for freeness of disease. While a test and eradication program had been adopted against tuberculosis in Army cattle in 1929, a similar program against brucellosis (Malta fever) was not undertaken until a much later date. In fact, the unexpected finding of this disease in the dairy herd on Christmas Island-after 3? years of virtual isolation and repeated examination-caused the immediate discontinuance of the local milk supply program and the subsequent closing of the farm.


Except in the European theater, captured animals were an invaluable asset to the U.S. and Allied military forces. In the European theater, captured animals played an unimportant role (21). There may have been as many as 15,000 of them. A large number of these animals were used for pack transport purposes and a few for cavalry-type reconnaissance, in the campaigns against the Germans in Sicily and Italy and in the fighting against


the Japanese in Burma, the Philippine Islands, and Okinawa. At other times, captured animals were used in areas back of tactical divisions and field armies to haul supplies or to mount guard patrols in depots and prisoner-of?war compounds. The real value of captured animals in the motorized and mechanized Army that fought overseas in World War II, however, was not so much in their redeployment into military campaign as it was the more urgent need to return them to the civilian populations in liberated and occupied countries for the early reestablishment of local civilian economy and agricultural rehabilitation. During World War II, the animals were released not only at the cessation of active hostilities, but also during the war period, dependent on the tactical situation and the CA/MG programs in liberated and occupied countries.

Captured animals presented several veterinary problems. One of these comprised the safeguards-including animal quarantine procedures and the conduct of mallein test for glanders-to protect the health of Army horses and mules. Another veterinary problem concerned the protection of troop health through proper disposition of captured animals which might be affected with diseases transmissible to man. The Army Veterinary Service provided professional services and technical supervision over the care and management of captured animals while in military custody, and special precautions were suggested or adopted prior to their release or disposition to prevent the spread of animal diseases in a military command or among civilian livestock populations. The extent of these veterinary activities depended on the availability of Veterinary Corps officers and animal service units, the availability of veterinary equipment and supplies, and the planning on the military deployment or disposition of the animals.

European Theater

In the European theater, captured animals generally presented an intolerable veterinary situation. This did not improve until after V-E Day (12, 13). After the assault and landings on the European Continent in June 1944, the horses, cattle, and other animals which had fallen into the hands of the advancing divisions and armies were immediately released or "farmed out," to the local civilian populations by CA/MG detachments (14, 15). These animals were regarded or handled as liabilities to be disposed of at once, rather than as assets. There was no intention to fully determine whether they were infected with a serious contagious disease that could be disseminated among the civilian animal populations. The Seventh U.S. Army, coming into southern France from the Mediterranean theater and accompanied by a provisional remount depot organization (the 6835th) and the 17th Veterinary Evacuation Hospital, seemingly had sufficient personnel and equipment to partially process the captured animals before releasing them to the civilian populations, but, even in this army, an enzootic of sarcoptic mange occurred.  


Elsewhere in the army combat areas, no precautions were taken against the collection and disposition of captured animals which might have been diseased. Aside from the shortages in the numbers of Veterinary Corps officers in such areas, little could have been accomplished anyway because, in the spring of 1944, there was a shortage of veterinary animal service equipment and supplies which was not relieved until the winter of 1944-45. In the interim, captured German Army animals, untested for glanders, were being used at a ground forces replacement depot and a prisoner-of-war inclosue in the Seine Base Section and the Brittany Base Section of the theater's communication zone (16). Subsequently, a minimal amount of animal service equipment and supplies which had come into the theater were used by veterinary personnel to provide first aid treatment and to examine these captured animals. During the spring of 1945, when it had become obvious that more animals would be captured and that some of these were being moved back from Germany into France, the theater veterinarian suggested that the captured animals should be taken care of by German Army veterinarians until the animals could be distributed by the CA/MG detachments and that such animals, if released or moved to France, should be examined by French civilian veterinarians. This pertained equally to horses as well as cattle, the latter already having been involved in the threatening spread of foot-and-mouth disease into the Lowland Countries (17, 18). The suggestions which had been made to prevent the widespread dissemination of animal diseases in North Central Europe were answered by the Quartermaster Corps with the statement-approved by the theater G-5 (Civil Affairs/Military Government)-that no animals should be captured because of the feeding problem involved.

However, in October 1945, the theater quartermaster became responsible for the care, use, and disposition of 7,300 horses (19). At that time, a few were retained for the Special Services program of recreational riding, and, before the middle of 1946, 235 were shipped to the Zone of Interior; the others were disposed of by distribution to the Germans through the Office of Military Government for Germany.

Mediterranean Theater

Veterinary service for captured animals in the Mediterranean theater was first rendered during the summer months of 1943 in the 34th Infantry Division3 in North Africa (20). During the next few years, thousands of such animals fell into the hands of the Allied military forces, many being actually used in the Seventh U.S. Army's campaigns on Sicily (during July and August 1943), and later in the Fifth U.S. Army in its northward advances against the Germans on the Italian peninsula. In fact, almost any

3At that time, the division veterinarian was caring for 116 captured animals; no communicable disease was reported.  


kind of animal that could be found was used to transport supplies or to aid in reconnaissance during the Sicilian campaign. The same situation prevailed during the early months of fighting in the southern Apennines when the divisions of the Fifth U.S. Army formed and operated their own provisional pack trains. Few or no preliminary physical examinations were made at this time by the divisional veterinarians because animals were so urgently needed, many being killed by enemy artillery and mortar fire and snipers during their first pack trip to the outpost positions. By the spring and summer of 1944 when U.S.-supervised Italian Army pack mule trains replaced the provisional pack trains of the combat divisions and the military needs for animals were less urgent, the captured animals were assembled by CA/MG officers in the combat area, and those unusable for military purposes were distributed to the Italian civilian economy. The captured animal situation remained more or less unchanged from early 1944 until the spring of 1945.

Following the start of the Fifth U.S. Army's final offensive through Bologna which saw the capitulation of the German Armies in northern Italy on 2 May 1945, an estimated 5,000 German Army horses and a few mules were found in the Po Valley (20). These were brought into a main collection point at San Martino in Spino and gradually were taken over from the Fifth U.S. Army by the 2610th Quartermaster Remount Depot (Overhead) of the theater's Peninsular Base Section. The depot's veterinary personnel took care of as many animals as it could but for the most part operated only as a clearing station for evacuating sick and injured captured animals to four veterinary hospital organizations moved into the Po Valley. These hospitals, belonging to the Peninsular Base Section, were the 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead) and the Italian 1st Veterinary Station Hospital, arriving at San Martino in Spino on 3 May 1945 (fig. 84). Several miles distant, and supporting these hospitals, were the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital (Overhead) and the Italian 2d Veterinary General Hospital-both setting up operations at Mirandola at about the same time. The movements of these hospitals and the evacuation of the disabled animals were accomplished by the 643d and 644th Veterinary Evacuation Detachments. During the month of May, which saw these hospitals and units in actual use for the first time since their organization in March 1945, they provided veterinary hospital support for the remount operations at San Martino in Spino, totaling more than 500 stable patients (table 58). The condition of the captured animals revealed the swift and chaotic retreat of the German forces just before their surrender; the horseshoes were worn paper thin or were missing from one or more of the feet. While some of there were sick-a few having epizootic lymphangitis-the most serious disability in these horses was burns (figs. 85 and 86). Whether the burns were caused by Allied artillery fire and aerial bombing or by the Germans setting fire to their abandoned material was undetermined.  


FIGURE 84.-Examination of a captured animal (identified by the "CA" brand) at the loading point of the U.S.-equipped Italian 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital, San Martino in Spino, Italy, on 10 May 1945.

TABLE 58.-Sick and wounded animals cared for by the 2604th Veterinary Station Hospital and the 2605th Veterinary General Hospital, May 1945



Died or destroyed1

Treatment days




2604th Veterinary Station Hospital (Overhead)






2605th Veterinary General Hospital (Overhead)






1The specific causes of the loss of 8 animals included the following diseases and injuries: Fractures, 3; and 1 each on account of cataract, equine influenza, separation of sole, synovitis, and torsion of colon.  
2Includes 25 battle casualties. 
3Includes 11 battle casualties.

The captured animals at San Martino in Spino were not kept for any great period of time because the area was the assigned responsibility of the British military forces; in mid-May 1945, the veterinary hospitals were withdrawn southward, the U.S. organizations then being disbanded and the Italian hospitals being released to the Italian Government.


FIGURE 85.-Extensive second-degree burns on a captured German horse.

China-Burma-India Theater

In the various areas of the Asiatic-Pacific theater, captured Japanese animals were used by the ground forces or found their way into the civilian economy in a manner somewhat comparable to the methods employed in the European and Mediterranean theaters (4). In the China-Burma-India theater, where animals were urgently needed by the U.S.-sponsored Chinese military forces, captured animals often constituted a major replacement supply to the combat teams fighting in the Burmese jungles (p. 363).

The main objection against the use and mingling of captured Japanese animals in the U.S. combat teams (Merrill's Marauders and the MARS Brigade) and the Allied Chinese military forces was the constant threat of surra.

Southwest Pacific Area

Surra, the disease that was most feared in the Burma campaigns and which eventually took its toll among the animals in the China-Burma-India theater, was discovered in the captured animals that made up the provisional pack train of the 33d Infantry Division while operating near Baguio, Luzon, in the summer of 1945. Over a period of 2 months, that divisional train's animal strength was reduced by 50 percent, largely on account of a test and


FIGURE 86.-Second-degree burns of the back, loin, and croup regions. This horse was one of 7,000 animals captured in the Po valley.

eradication program against surra-the program being undertaken by a veterinary officer of the XI Corps in cooperation with a medical laboratory unit (21).  

Central Pacific Area

Few Japanese horses were captured on the island bases in the Central Pacific Area until after the Tenth U.S. Army's invasion of the Ryukyu Islands (6). On Angaur (in the Carolines) three were found, and two were found on Saipan (in the Marianas), but, in the Ryukyus, more than a thousand had been captured on Okinawa by 1 June 1945, and another 375 horses were taken on Ie Shima. With the exception of a few furnished to the U.S. Marine Corps to mount an ammunition pack train on Okinawa, these horses were controlled by the CA/MG officers who then "farmed out" as many as were needed in the recovery of the local agricultural economy. Veterinary officers provided the required professional care over the captured animals and took the necessary precautions against the issue of horses which were in poor physical condition or had contagious diseases.

Another group of animals coming into the category of "captured" was the livestock totaling 2,400 cattle and carabao, 700 goats, 1,100 hogs, and 3,600 poultry found in the Marianas Islands bases captured or retaken from  


the Japanese. Presumably, many belonged to the native inhabitants, but others had belonged to the Japanese. They were assembled by CA/MG sections and were cared for by the veterinary officers accompanying the Army garrison force for each such base. It made little difference that the CA/MG on an island was a Navy responsibility and was Navy controlled, except that the medical sections of the Army garrisons forces could not justify the release of their veterinary officers (usually one to an island base) when Navy CA/MG suddenly and unexpectedly needed them.


Private mounts of officers were given the same protective care and professional treatment as provided for Army horses and mules. However, a more controversial group of privately owned animals which was provided professional services in the Army included the dogs, cats, and other pet animals or troop mascots belonging to military personnel and organizations. These were controversial to the extent that, from time to time, a few individual veterinary practitioners in civilian communities surrounding the Army camps posed a question of infringement of rights or of unfair competition on the part of Veterinary Corps officers who were practicing veterinary medicine on these animals. There can be no doubt that these professional activities accrued great benefits to the Armed Forces, involving such matters as upholding troop morale, maintaining medical intelligence on the disease conditions of such animals as might have a bearing on troop health, and, of course, offering professional experience and continuing interest in veterinary medicine which related to animals of the kinds not used by the Army.

These treatment services, important as they may have been to the individual owners and military organizations, however, remained secondary to the phase of Army Veterinary Service with privately owned animals that was concerned with the regulatory controls over the traffic of such dogs, cats, and other pet animals between the Army camps. These controls meant that veterinary officers conducted physical examinations on the animals prior to their transshipment and rendered veterinary health certificates such as were officially made whenever Army horses and mules were issued, transferred, or sold; upon arrival at their destination in another Army camp, the privately owned animals were kept under a certain degree of veterinary observation or in quarantine until found to be free of contagious disease.4 After 1928 these regulatory controls were advanced by the obligatory program of immunizing dogs, cats, and similar animals against rabies at many Army camps

4At most Army camps, the provost marshal was responsible for maintaining the records on privately owned animals which were kept or housed there. Newly arrived personnel were required to register their dogs with the provost marshal following their preliminary examination and "clearance" by the station veterinarian. The program of vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies, repeated each year, frequently became the basis for the owners to renew the registrations of their animals with the provost marshal. Unregistered animals and strays were collected and impounded by the provost marshal, who was also authorized to dispose of them.


FIGURE 87.-Antirabies vaccination, Chatham Army Air Force Field.

(fig. 87). In this manner, the Army accomplished more than any statutory?constituted civil authority to prevent the introduction or dissemination of animal disease by dogs and cats which were moved intrastate or interstate, or imported into the United States. Eventually, in 1946, the U.S. Public Health Service was granted congressional authorization to regulate the importation of any or all dogs and cats, military and civilian alike.

Before World War II, the nominal number of animals which were brought into the United States by military personnel was well regulated by the Army. The only Federal or civilian regulatory controls over such traffic were maintained by the Bureau of Customs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and, in the instance of parrots or psittacine birds, by the U.S. Public Health Service since 1930.

The onset of World War II almost brought a halt to this animal traffic as increasingly larger numbers of Army troops were shipped from and not into the United States. This decreased incoming traffic, which had come about more or less by natural means and lasted only for the active war period, was further reduced in January 1944 when the Transportation Corps regulations of the Army (22) were amended to provide that "the carrying of pets or mascots on U.S. Army transports and vessels wholly allo-


cated to the War Department is not permissible." In the interim, however, when the incoming ship traffic of animal pets, especially on troop transports, had come to a halt, the wartime expansion of the Army Air Forces led to increasingly large numbers of these animals being brought into the United States by airplane. Aircraft-ferrying crews and the combat pilots on rotation further complicated the problem by entering the United States at airbases not normally under any kind of Federal or medical surveillance. In the spring of 1944, the War Department directed that animals were not to be carried on Army airplanes and ships unless a prior permit was secured from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and requested airplane and ship commanders as well as all Army personnel to cooperate with that department's inspectors at ports and airfields (23, 24). There can be no doubt that this announcement may have lessened the military traffic of pet animals into the United States, but, actually, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was without statutory authorization to prevent these importations5 and neither was there a military veterinary record to indicate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel conducted such inspections or impounded pet animals belonging to military personnel. In the European theater, the Army Veterinary Service inquired as to how military personnel could obtain the required permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture before departing for the United States (25).

These regulatory directives of the War Department were augmented by the regulatory controls established and operated in the oversea theaters during the active war period. The European theater, for example, provided for the movement of pet animals to the United States to the extent only that such would be made in compliance with the existent directives (26, 27). This meant that dogs, cats, and pet animals could be transported to the Zone of Interior if the individual owners could or should make their own arrangements with any commercial transportation agencies which might be operating between Europe and the United States; of course, few such arrangements could be made during the period of active hostilities. The same was true for the Central Pacific Area, but no veterinary health certificates were issued for dogs or cats which may have been at one time or another on any island base outside of the Hawaiian Islands (6). Elsewhere, the theaters imposed greater restrictions. During May 1943, the Southwest Pacific Area expressly prohibited the shipment of animals into the United States (28).

5Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chiefly through its Bureau of Animal Industry, was the Federal agency statutorily responsible to prevent the spread or introduction of animal disease across State boundary lines and into the United States, its control over the traffic of animals was limited by the legal definition of "domestic animal"-the latter not including dogs or cats, which are regarded as chattel. This legal definition with the exclusion of dogs as animals was only gradually applied because the Bureau of Animal Industry Regulations of 1918 and 1919 provided that all dogs coming into the United States would be inspected, especially the collie, shepherd, and sheep dogs which could be quarantined against tapeworm infestation (Taenia coenurus). Then, the Bureau of Animal Industry Regulations of 1927 referred only to the inspection of imported collie, shepherd, or other dogs which were to be used in handling sheep or other livestock.


Following the cessation of active hostilities, the return of the millions of troops which had been deployed overseas to win the Allied victories over Germany, Italy, and Japan was accompanied by the threat of the greatest mass importation of dogs, cats, and troop mascots in the history of the United States. The existent safeguards, against the chance introduction of new diseases or augmentation to those diseases already prevalent, were seriously reviewed by Medical Department officers. They described the subject as important not only as it concerned the safeguarding of the of the Nation's livestock but the protection of its civilian health as well. By October 1945, the European theater already had completed arrangements for transporting any number of dogs, cats, and other animals,6 at owners' expense, on commercial transportation facilities (29, 30, 31, 32). As though this was not sufficiently disconcerting, the Veterinary Division, Surgeon General's Office, which had assumed to at least maintain a respectable safeguard against animal diseases coming into the United States, soon found that the Transportation Corps was negotiating with the War Shipping Administration to move animals from areas, particularly those far removed from normal trade routes or shipping lanes, wherein commercial shipping had not, or would not, become available (33). At that moment, the Surgeon General's Office appealed to the U.S. Public Health Service to review its statutory authorizations and regulatory provisions which might be used to stop or control such importations as would affect the Nation's health, but no assistance was forthcoming at that time (34). An obvious reason for referring the request to the U.S. Public Health Service was that the two, since mid-1943, had been meeting in conference of an Interdepartmental Quarantine Commission which sought to formulate a coordinated civil and military control over military traffic.7 The U.S. Department of Agriculture had refused to participate during the constructive days of that Commission, when the subject matter under conference study evolved about the aerial traffic of internationally recognized diseases of the human being.

During February 1946, the Surgeon General's Office entered into discussions against renewed proposals by the Transportation Corps to utilize War Shipping Administration vessels to bring out (or import) the pet animals owned by troops located in those certain areas, particularly in the Asiatic?Pacific theaters, that would be outside of postwar commercial ship traffic (35). Acquainted with the genuine lack of congressional authorization in any or all recognized Federal civilian health and disease-control agencies to protect the Nation against such animal importations, the Surgeon General's Office could

6An estimate was made that 1 percent of the troops returning to the United States would want to import dogs from the European theater.  
7The Interdepartmental Quarantine Commission was formed following an agreement reached between the Federal Security Agency, including the U.S. Public Health Service, and a number of Federal and military agencies, including the War Department. In July 1943, a medical officer was designated as War Department representative to the Commission-being designated as Army Quarantine Liaison Officer. The latter subsequently established operations within the Surgeon General's Office. In the fall of 1944, the Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was especially advised of this action in the Surgeon General's Office, but, seemingly, there was no further intercommunication until February 1946.  


not believe that the Army should encourage animal traffic into the United States from areas from which few or any animals had been imported in the past and that "in the interests of public health and animal disease control,  * * * importation should be discouraged, particularly as far as the introduction of pets from the Orient is concerned, where diseases are more rampant, and methods of control are practically nil" (36). Against these veterinary arguments, the Transportation Corps proposal had the singular advantage that services and facilities would be equal for all Army troops, whether they were located in the European theater or were isolated on some island base in the Pacific.

The two aspects of the problem were compromised on 20 March 1946, when the War Department removed the wartime prohibitions against the transportation of dogs, cats, and other animal pets on Army ships and imposed new requirements for these animals, when coming into the United States, to be previously immunized against rabies and to be physically examined and certified to be free of any demonstrable diseases as might be evidenced by the skin, jaundice, emaciation, diarrhea, or symptoms involving the nervous system (37 through 41). These Army veterinary sanitary requirements were favorably agreed to by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Army Service Forces, but not without questioning the moral justification of the Army as an agency of Government to impose regulatory controls on soldier-owners of pet animals when such were not legislatively imposed on civilians; also, a question arose over the continued need for the Army to assume civil or Federal regulatory functions in the Zone of Interior (42).

In fact, the Army had demonstrated its willingness to cooperate with the Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Public Health Service, Federal Security Agency. However, when advised in February 1946 of the Army's intent to lift its stringent impositions against the traffic of dogs, cats, and other privately owned animals, only the U.S. Public Health Service was sufficiently interested or able to give promise of action for civilian regulatory control over their importation (43, 44, 45). Within a short period of time, the  U.S. Public Health Service developed a regulatory order-in cooperation with the Surgeon General's Office as well as with representatives of Army Air Forces, the Navy, and other agencies-which was subsequently (on 29 May 1946) entered into Federal law (46, 47, 48). There remains no doubt that the Army Veterinary Service alone in the immediate postwar period had successfully intervened against the threatened introduction of additional or new animal diseases into the United States by the hundreds of privately owned animals belonging to military personnel who were returning from the oversea theaters. To date, despite the confusing multidivision of the Federal civil controls against importations that ordinarily precede and comprise the legal basis of most military quarantine processes in the Zone of Interior, the record is clear of any blame on the Army that its animal pets  


and troop mascots constituted a source of animal disease spread to the Nation's civilian and animal populations; more significant, however, the fact remains that the Nation's health and livestock were protected.


1. Durrant, M. J.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, New Caledonia, South Pacific Area. [Official record.]

2. Weisman, L. G.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, Southwest Pacific Area. [Official record.]

3. Lawrence, W. A.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, African?Middle East Theater. [Official record.]

4. Mohri, R. W.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, China?Burma-lndia Theater. [Official record.]

5. Letter, Maj. W. C. Todd, VC, Veterinarian, Mitchel Field, N.Y., to Surgeon, First Air Force, 22 Dec. 1943, subject: Veterinary Reports for Farm Animals.

6. Kester, W. O., and Miller, E. B.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, Central Pacific Area. [Official record.]

7. Worthington, J. W.: Personal notes as prisoner of war. 

8. Gochenour, W. S.: Personal notes as prisoner of war. 

9. Frank, C. W.: Personal notes as prisoner of war.

10. Miller, R. R.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, South Atlantic Theater. [Official record.]

11. Letter, Lt. Col. H. K. Moore, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, to Veterinarian, Quartermaster Remount Depot, Fort Robinson, Nebr., 12 Dec. 1941, subject: Sanitary Inspection of Dairy Farm.

12. Perkins, C. B.: Report, Veterinary Division, Office of the Chief Surgeon, USFET, for first half, 1945.

13. Sperry, J. R., and Huebner, R. A.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, European Theater. [Official record.]

14. Report of Operations, First U.S. Army, 20 Oct. 1943 to 1 Aug. 1944, Annex 15 to 20.

15. Informal Routing Slip, Office of the Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, from Col. C. B. Perkins, VC, Veterinary Division, to Historical Division, 10 Dec. 1944, subject: Weekly Divisional Activity Report, Week Ending 2400 Hours 9/24/44.

16. Informal Routing Slip, Office of the Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, Col. C. B. Perkins, VC, Veterinary Division, to Historical Division, November 1944, subject: Weekly Divisional Activity Report, Week Ending 2400 Hours 25/11/44.

17. Anslow, R. O.: World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, Civil Affairs/Military Government, European Theater. [Official record.]

18. Todd, F. A.: Veterinary Preventive Medicine in Civil Affairs and Military Government in Northwest Europe from D-day to V-day. J. Am. Vet. M. A. 110: 209-212, April 1947.

19. Letter, HQ USFET, 18 Oct. 1945, subject: Riding Horses for Recreational Purposes.

20. World War II History of the Army Veterinary Service, Mediterranean Theater, for 1943. [Official record.]

21. Bliss, G. D.: Quarterly Medical History, 33d Infantry Division, 1 April-30 June 1945.

22. AR 55-485, Changes 2, 7 Jan. 1944. 

23. WD General Orders 32, 20 Apr. 1944. 

24. WD General Orders 36, 1 May 1944.  


25. Disposition Form, Col. E. M. Curley, VC, Veterinary Division, Chief Surgeon's Office, ETOUSA, to Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, 6 Aug. 1944, subject: GO #32 WD 20 Apr. 44. 

26. Letter, Office of the Chief Surgeon, ETOUSA, to army and base section surgeons, 13 Feb. 1945, subject: Transportation of Animals to the United States.

27. Circular No. 78, Headquarters, ETOUSA, 9 June 1945. 

28. Circular No. 24, USAFFE, 8 May 1943.

29. TWX S 25959, USFET to WD, 1 Oct. 1945. 

30. TWX S 20240, USFET to WD, 25 Oct. 1945. 

31. Circular No. 231, HQ Theater Service Forces, USFET, 7 Dec. 1945.

32. Letter, Col. J. R. Sperry, VC, Veterinary Division, Chief Surgeon's Office, ETOUSA, to Col. J. F. Crosby, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, 22 Dec. 1945.

33. Memo routing slip, Capt. T. E. Shaffer, MC, Acting Army Quarantine Liaison Officer, SGO, to Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Divisions, SGO, 12 Oct. 1945. 

34. Letter, Col. R. J. Carpenter, MC, Executive Officer, SGO, to Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service, Federal Security Agency, 15 Oct. 1945, subject: Importation of Pets by Individuals in Military Service, and letter of reply, F. W. Kratz, Foreign Quarantine Service, U.S. Public Health Service, 23 Oct. 1945.

35. Memorandum for file, Maj. T. E. Shaffer, MC, Acting Army Quarantine Officer, SGO, 12 Feb. 1946, subject: Transportation of Pets and Mascots.

36. Memorandum, Col. J. F. Crosby, VC, Veterinary Division, SGO, for Lt. Col. Knies, MC, Army Quarantine Liaison Officer, Preventive Medicine Division, SGO, 11 Feb. 1946. 

37. First memorandum indorsement, Surgeon General's Office to Chief of Transportation, ASF, 7 Mar. 1946.

38. Radiogram WCL 26588, WD to oversea commands and ports of embarkation in the Zone of Interior, 20 Mar. 1946.

39. Mimeo letter, The Adjutant General to oversea commands, 29 Mar. 1946, subject: Examination and Vaccination of Pets and Mascots Prior to Shipment to United States. 

40. WD Circular No. 83, 22 Mar. 1946.

41. AR 55-485, Changes 3, 21 May 1946.

42. Memorandum, Lt. Col. C. O. Garver, TC, Executive Officer, Administrative Division, Office of the Chief of Transportation, for The Surgeon General, 13 Feb. 1946, subject: Importation of Pets and Mascots.

43. Letter, The Surgeon General, to Chief, Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14 Feb. 1946, and letter of reply, B. T. Simms, Chief, Bureau of Animal Industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 18 Feb. 1946.

44. Letter, The Surgeon General, to Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 14 Feb. 1946, and letter of reply, D. J. Chaney, Chief Counsel, 26 Feb. 1946.

45. Letter, The Surgeon General, to Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service, Federal Security Agency, 14 Feb. 1946, and letter of reply, W. F. Draper, Acting Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service, 1 Mar. 1946.

46. Memorandum for file, Maj. T. E. Shaffer, MC, Acting Army Quarantine Liaison Officer, SGO, 21 Feb. 1946, subject: Transportation of Pets and Mascots.

47. Memorandum for file, Maj. T. E. Shaffer, MC, Acting Army Quarantine Liaison Officer, SGO, 28 Feb. 1946, subject: Importation of Animals Into the United States.

48. Federal Register, vol. II, No. 105, 29 May 1946.