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

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Woolwich 1963

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Woolwich]

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Before considering applications for Club registrations the
local Magistrates forward copies of the applications to the Council
for observations to be made to the Clerk of the Court.
In order to ensure that the Club premises conform to the
requirements of the Public Health and Food and Drugs Acts, the
premises are inspected by the Public Health Inspectors.
Reports were submitted to the Town Clerk in respect of
24 applications, twelve of which were applications for renewal of
existing licences.
This Borough, in common with many other Boroughs both in
London and the country generally, has shared in the increase in
the number of pigeons that have appeared in recent years. Section
121 of the Public Health (London) Act, 1936 authorises the Council
to take such steps as are considered necessary to prevent or minimise
any nuisance, annoyance or damage caused by pigeons or house doves.
At the beginning of the year a number of colonies of pigeons,
varying in size from 20 - 120 birds, were noted, and except for two
colonies nesting under two railway bridges, the majority of the
colonies appeared suitable for trapping.
Of the methods of destruction trapping was considered to be
the best way of catching and destroying the pigeons. Specially
designed traps were baited with suitable food, and the birds lured
into the traps were destroyed. This method ensures that only wild
pigeons are killed, other birds and homing pigeons finding their
way into the traps being released.
Two infestations of pigeons nesting in empty buildings were
destroyed by the pigeon catcher entering the buildings after dark.
Since March, when trapping was commenced, some 586 pigeons were
caught and destroyed. This work was carried out by the Rodent
Control staff.
In dealing with the pigeons nesting under the railway bridges,
it was considered essential to prevent the pigeons from perching
under the bridges and fouling the footpath. Accordingly, 'Bird
Baffle' - a pointed metal strip-was fitted to the underside of
the bridges over the footpaths in order to prevent nuisance to
pedestrians using the pavement under the bridges. The work of

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