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

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West Ham 1954

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

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We have to record that we have been fortunate in having the co-operation of the
slaughterhouse occupiers and their workmen in carrying out our duties and that in general
the slaughtermen have shown a high stapdard of consideration in the treatment of the
animals. The realisation that the best quality of meat is only likely to be obtained from
animals which have not been subjected to rough methods and lack of care during the preslaughter
waiting period is perhaps a factor which is now more readily appreciated than
formerly. Every opportunity has been taken to impress upon the personnel concerned, the
desirability, and benefits to the trade, of the correct attitude to be adopted towards the
beasts from which we derive an important part of our diet.
Of the total of 18,696 animals slaughtered and inspected, there were 5,729 horses,
3,566 cattle, 8,069 pigs, 1,071 sheep and 261 goats.
In general, the animals have been of a better quality than those slaughtered in the
borough in pre-war days. Tuberculosis in cattle and less common than formerly.
This is no doubt a reflection on the efforts made by the Ministry of Agriculture in pursuing
the policy of encouraging the growth of Tuberculin Tested herds, leading to the ultimate
total eradication of this disease from our livestock by the establishment of eradication
areas throughout the country as the number of tuberculosis free herds in each area reaches
the level which makes this a practicable possibility.
An indication of the rapid growth of Attested Herds is shown by the fact that in
1951 of the total cattle in Great Britain, 26% were tuberculosis free as shown by the
tuberculin test. In 1952, the percentage had risen to 34% in 1953 to 41% and in 1954 to 45%.

Carcases Inspected and Rejected.

Cattle excluding cowsCowsCalvesSheepPigsHorsesGoats
Number killed and inspected1,3641,5426601,0718,0695,729261
All diseases except Tuberculosis
Whole carcases rejected242333-
Carcases of which some part of organ rejected14616656324197-
Percentage affected with disease other than TB.10.811.
Tuberculosis only
Whole carcases rejected1018--61-
Carcases of which some part or organ rejected83190_-84_-
Percentage affected with TB.6.913.5-1.0.02-
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