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

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City of London 1957

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Port of London]

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Afloat, repressive measures are taken as required mainly as a result of notification from the
Authority and such action may include poisoning operations by the Authority at the request of the
Whatever the destructive measures adopted, by sulphur dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, methyl
bromide or poison baits, the decision is determined after close initial inspection and this aspect
of the overall control measures is a major task carried out efficiently and methodically by the
appointed Inspector with his launch.
In these times when lighters are in steady demand and their movements erratic, when delay
imposes economic penalties and the human factor must be considered, it is the more gratifying to
achieve the results recorded and the friendly understanding that has developed.
This control of rodents on lighters is, indeed, an important role in the comprehensive rodent
control practices of the Port, for it is by transporting rodents from place to place inside and outside
the Port area that rodent-borne diseases could be communicated on a major scale.
Records for this year include:—
Number of lighters inspected 3,746
Number without evidence of rodents 3,126
Number with negligible evidence of rodents 382
Number of lighters treated for rodents 160
Number treated voluntarily by Owners 78
Total number of dead rodents recovered 849
There is an increase in the number of lighters treated when compared with past years and this
is due to the ever growing co-operation aforementioned between the Port Health Authority and the
Industry, especially at the repair yards.
Since 1951 the Port Health Authority has been issuing Rodent Control Certificates to coastwise
shipping as provided for by the terms of the Prevention of Damage by Pests (Application to
Shipping) Order, 1951.
During the year 1957 the Port Health Authority issued 105 such Certificates.


Rodents destroyed (bodies recovered) Airing the year in ships and in shore premises

(1) On vessels

Number ofJan.Feb.Mar.AprilMayJuneJulyAug.Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.Total
Black Rats145277199196273313159661331952641502370
Brown Rats-11--2
Rats examined472634332-230
Rats infected with plague

(2) In Docks, Quays, Wharves and Warehouses

Number ofJan.Feb.Mar.AprilMayJuneJulyAug. Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.Total
Black Rats18293113136163254120962261331191241759
Brown Rats814365495742478471629536732
Rats examined5122522422128
Rats infected with plague-----


Deratting Certificates and Deratting Exemption Certificates Issued during the Year for Shipsfrom Foreign Ports

No. of Deratting Certificates IssuedNumber of Deratting Exemption Certificates IssuedT otal Certificates Issued
After Fumigation withAfter TrappingAfter PoisoningAfter Trapping and PoisoningT otal
HCNOther Fumigants (state Method)
28s.o2 1Nil"1080" 103Nil1381,0711,209
Methyl Bromide 1"Warfarin 5