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 London County Council]
During 1928 sanction was given in four cases to the establishment anew of the
business of a dresser of fur-skins and also to the establishment anew of the business
of a slaughterer of poultry, a slaughterer of cattle and a catgut manufacturer. In
one instance the period for which the carrying on of the business of a dresser of
fur-skins was authorised was extended.
The numbers of cowhouses licensed by the Council in the past five years were
as follows 1924, 89; 1925, 84; 1926, 75; 1927, 65; 1928, 55.
Proceedings as indicated below were taken by the Council during 1928 with
regard to smoke nuisance from railway and road locomotives, and some proceedings
were also instituted by the sanitary authorities in respect of smoke nuisance from
trade premises. As regards railway locomotives, section 114 of the Railway Clauses
Consolidation Act, 1845, requires that every locomotive shall be constructed on the
principle of consuming its own smoke, and section 19 of the Regulation of Railways
Act, 1868, enacts that, if a locomotive fails to do this, the railway company shall
be guilty of an offence.
Particulars of the work carried out during the year in connection with the
suppression of smoke nuisance are as follows:—
(1) Railway locomotives:—Nuisances reported—18. Prosecutions—11. Convictions—11.
Total of fines and costs imposed—£39.
(2) Road locomotives:—Nuisances reported—5. Prosecutions—1. Convictions—1.
Total of fines imposed—10s.
(3) Premises :—Reports made as to alleged nuisances—282. Cases in which
legal proceedings were taken by metropolitan borough councils as the result of such
The necessity for combating smoke nuisance is increasingly recognised and
action taken in respect of nuisances caused by public utility institutions was strongly
supported by the general public. It is felt that the interest shown by the public
in this matter will assist materially in securing an improvement of existing
The Diseases of Animals Acts, 1894 to 1927, the object of which is the suppression
of contagious diseases in animals, naturally do not affect London so much as they do
the country. In London, apart from swine fever, attention is now principally
directed to glanders, anthrax, rabies, parasitic mange and foot and mouth disease,
diseases which are communicable to man. The Acts are supplemented by Orders
issued by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. During 1928 the incidence of
the principal animal diseases so far as London is concerned was as follows Glanders
including farcy, nil; swine fever, 1 outbreak in which 98 animals were involved;
anthrax, nil; parasitic mange, 29 outbreaks involving 71 animals; foot and mouth
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries has issued an Order entitled the
Anthrax Order of 1928, which came into operation on 1st October, 1928, and revokes
the Anthrax Order of 1910. The scope of the Order has been extended so as to cover
any four footed mammal kept in captivity (except mammals in certain licensed pathological
institutes) and is thus applicable to such animals in any public or private
zoological collection. The Order also prohibits the cutting of the skin of a diseased
or suspected carcase except by a veterinary surgeon.
Swine fever has been very prevalent throughout Great Britain during the past
few years but only 1 outbreak was dealt with in London during 1928. During the
year, 19,813 swine were examined at feeder's premises.
The most efficacious measures for stamping out hydrophobia are muzzling, the
seizure of all stray dogs and the regulation of the importation of dogs. Under the
Dogs Act, 1906, which revoked all then existing muzzling regulations, regulations
requiring the wearing of collars by dogs while on a highway have been made by the
Council. Under these regulations, 23,276 dogs were seized by the police during 1928.