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

View report page

West Ham 1948

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for West Ham]

This page requires JavaScript

No. of Notices complied with -(1) By Owner
" " " " "- (2) By Occupier
Summonses issued
SLAUGHTER HOUSES. During the year 106 inspections were made of the three slaughterhouses
in the Borough engaged in the slaughter of horses. Two of the slaughter-houses caused
little trouble; the third required closer supervision, although no contraventions of the Byelaws
were observed, which, in the opinion of the department, were sufficient to obtain a
conviction in Court.
There is no Municipal Abattoir or private slaughterhouse in West Ham which is being
utilised by the Ministry of Food for the slaughter of animals, the flesh of which is intended
for rationed meat. A large number of private slaughterhouses have been out of operation in
consequence of the monopoly in slaughtering of such animals given to the Ministry of Pood
early in 1940 when the Livestock (Restriction of Slaughtering) Orders came into force.
Three private slaughterhouses are engaged In the slaughtering of horses and goats
for the provision of unrationed meat for human consumption. West Ham apparently deals with
a larger number of horses, killed for human food, than any other centre in the country.
During the year ending 31st December, 1948, 17,001 horses and 13.82 goats were slaughtered.
An endeavour is made to examine all animals both ante and post-mortem and although all the
animals enumerated above were examined post-mortem, a few owing to late arrival at the
slaughterhouses were slaughtered before ante-mortem examination could be carried out.
Unlike cattle, sheep, goats and swine, horses do not come within the scope of the Public
Health (Meat) Regulations and in consequence it is not obligatory for the notification of
intended slaughter of these animals to be given to the local authority.
Horses brought into West Ham are mainly young well nourished horses producing prime
carcases and it is rare that total rejection is required. Tuberculosis in the well nourished
horse is very rare, during 1948 only one animal was found to be affected and the whole
carcase and all offal was rejected on account of wide-spread tuberculosis defined, within
the meaning of Memo 62 Poods, as "generalised".
Seven other carcases were totally rejected for extensive bruising (1), oedema (5)
and fevered flesh (1). Portions of a large number of horses were rejected for localised
bruising and oedema. The organs were In general found to be free from diseased conditions,
except the livers which are very commonly affected with parasitic conditions necessitating
total or partial rejection.
Practically all the goats were imported from Eire and as many arrived in poor
condition representations were made to the Ministry of Agriculture, under the Transit of
Animals Order, early in the year and thereafter there was a marked Improvement in the
quality of the goats received in the Borough.
Fifty-seven of the 1182 goat carcases were rejected totally for malnutrition and
oedema, mainly associated with fascioliasis, whilst three hundred and two livers were
rejected for fascioliasis.
(By Mr«H.E.Bywater, M.ReC.V.S., Veterinary Officer)