London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1920

Annual report of the Council, 1920. Vol. III. Public Health

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Parasitic mange in equines is still very prevalent in London, but for a few years before the war the
number of cases reported much decreased. Unfortunately, on the outbreak of the war, it was necessary
to suspend temporarily the Order dealing with the disease with the result that it increased
very largely. The conditions under which trade horses are fed and worked in London, particularly during
busy seasons, tend to encourage the spread of the disease. The following figures relate to 1920:—
Outbreaks, 469; Horses affected, 1,201; infringements, 102; written cautions sent, 59; convictions,
43; penalties and costs. £322 7s.
Sheep scab.
Two new Orders, the Sheep Scab Order of 1920 and the Sheep (Double Dipping) Order of 1920,
have been made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with a view to the eradication of sheep scab,
a disease which has increased during the past few years in Great Britain. The first-named Order contains
new provisions for improving the administrative arrangements for dealing with the disease on premises
on which sheep scab has appeared. The County of London has not been made a " double dipping "
area, but the Order has been applied to several districts, including one close to London. Sheep farming
is carried on only in the south-eastern portion of the county, and that to a very limited extent, but large
numbers of sheep are brought to London for slaughter at the Metropolitan Cattle Market at Islington. A
copy of the Sheep Scab Order of 1920 was served on every sheep owner in London. Arrangements have
also been made for enforcing the requirements of the Orders and for the issue of licences by inspectors of
other local authorities regarding the movement of undipped sheep from a "double dipping" area to the
Metropolitan Cattle Market. The Ministry subsequently issued an Order revoking as from 1st
December, 1920, the Orders requiring the compulsory general dipping of sheep in this country involving
a single dipping and, in forwarding the Order, directed attention to the power given to local authorities,
under Article 12 of the Sheep Scab Order of 1920, to make regulations to continue the general compulsory
dipping of sheep in their districts as a safeguard against the risk of the introduction of sheep scab. The
Ministry was informed that the County was affected to only a slight extent, as practically all the
sheep which come into London are sent there from the districts of other local authorities for the purpose
of immediate slaughter. No case of sheep scab has been reported in London since 1901.
The Gloucestershire County Council asked the Council to support representations to the Mimstry
of Agriculture and Fisheries for an amendment in certain directions of the Epizootic Abortion Order of
1920. In \iew of the fact that there are comparatively few dairy cows kept in the County, the greater
number that come into London being brought there for the purposes of slaughter, it appeared to be undesirable
for the Council to be associated as suggested in any such representations to the Ministry.
Animals in
In order to ensure that the requirements of the Ammals (Transit and General) Order, 1912, and
the Horses (Importation and Transit) Order, 1913, are being observed, and that the animals are free from
signs of disease, the Council's inspectors pay numerous visits to railway wharves, depots, etc., where
animals in transit are collected. The visits during 1920 numbered 3,174, the animals examined being—
horses 30,477, cattle 45,435, sheep 42,136, swine 3,798, making a total of 121,846. There were 39 infringements,
32 written cautions, and 7 convictions, with penalties and costs amounting to £54 5s. 6d.
In accordance with a request of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in connection with
the veterinary examination of horses before shipment to the Continent under the Diseases of Animals
Act, 1910, and the Exportation of Horses Act, 1914, the Council has arranged for the inspection of horses
at the London railway termini previous to entraining for Folkestone and othe r ports.

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