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

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City of London 1970

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London, City of ]

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Work involved in implementing the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act, 1949, can be classified
under two headings:
(a) The inspection of premises and the offer of advice on treatment of premises which are
(b) Control work in the sewers.
(a) Premises
Premises inspected (routine or on complaint) 3,300
Complaints received 1,281
House mouse infestations 922
Rat infestation (minor) 61
Initial baiting sites selected 12,493
Total operational visits 6,341
Efforts were made to establish sources of infestation and advice given and "follow up"
visits paid to check on the effectiveness of treatment.
(b) Destruction of rat^s in sewers.
Two direct treatments were carried out in March and September using Fluorakil and arsenious
oxide respectively and involving 369 entrances to the sewers.
In June and December, two tests baiting treatments were carried out and where takes were
recorded poison baits, using zinc phosphide, were applied.
The December operation showed a noticeable decline in the test bait takes compared with
the June operation, as follows: —
June: : 47 Full Takes
67 Half Takes
December: 32 Full Takes
46 Half Takes

As a result of these control measures there has been some reduction within the city in the extentant degree of the nuisance caused by pigeons.

Bodies received196
Post Mortem Examinations made194
Inquests on bodies31
Inquests held at Holloway PrisonNIL
Inquests on firesNIL
Inquests on Treasure TroveNIL
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All the sewer treatments were carried out in good dry weather conditions.
The Public Health Act, 1961, gives local authorities permissive power to take steps to
abate or mitigate nuisance from pigeons believed to have no owner.
On the receipt of a complaint an inspection is made and if conditions which constitute a
nuisance are found the details are notified to a pest control firm with which the City Corporation
has a contract and which operates generally within the City area. In addition, where a nuisance
in City gardens and open spaces occurs the work of the contractor is supplemented by periodic
treatments undertaken directly by the staff of this Department in co-operation with the Superintendent
of Parks and Gardens. These treatments are all subject to approval by the Regional
Pests Officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
As a result of these control measures there has been some reduction within the City in the
extent and degree of the nuisance caused by pigeons.

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