Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Battersea Borough]
Rag Flock Acts, 1911 and 1928.
These Acts were passed to prevent the use of material known
as rag flock, unless such material complies with the standard of
cleanliness laid down in the Act.
No proceedings were taken under these Acts in Battersea
Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919.
This Act, which became operative on the 1st January, 1920,
imposes on local authorities and occupiers of premises additional
responsibilities in connection with rat repression.
The work carried out during 1931 under the Council's Rat
Repression Scheme is summarised as follows:Premises
visited 1,429 Contracts made or
Poison baits used 20,175 renewed ... 14
Dead rats found 1,631 Value of contracts £216 10 0
Cash for poison bait £9 1 0
Total expenditure (financial year 1931-32) £530 3 6
Income (financial year 1931-32) £226 12 0
Drains were tested at 71 premises in connection with this
work, and in 63 cases were found to be defective. Most of these
defective drains were in private houses. The presence of rats
in houses is usually regarded as prima facie evidence of drain
defects. The work of the Rat Officer therefore is carried on in close
co-operation with that of the district Sanitary Inspectors.
As in previous years an intensive effort for the repression of
rats was organised during "Rat Week" (2nd to 7th November).
Bait was laid in the sewers, and was supplied to all applicants
during the week free of charge. The co-operation of the public
was invited by posters and advertisements and other forms of
propaganda including the exhibition of the rat film lent by the
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries at local cinemas. The results
were good, considerable numbers of rats being found dead, and the
education and interest of the public in the necessity for rat repression
The methods employed under the Rat Repression Scheme have
been described in previous Annual Reports. It is only necessary,
therefore, to state that as an inspection of the summarised figures
shows, the work done during the year under this head has been as
satisfactory as in previous years.
Fouling of Footways by Dogs.
It was not found necessary during the year to institute
proceedings under the by-law made by the Council in 1927
(and renewed in 1929) with regard to the fouling of footways by
In April the Health Committee ordered that enamelled plaques
calling attention to the by-law should be affixed to lamp-posts in
the Borough, and about 100 such plaques were exhibited.
The application of this by-law appears undoubtedly to have
effected a diminution of this objectionable form of nuisance on the