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

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City of London 1966

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

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(b) A person who supplies a drug or preparation in accordance with a certificate given under
this paragraph shall retain the certificate and mark it with the date on which the drug or
preparation was supplied and keep it on his premises so as to be at all times available
for inspection.
PIGEON CONTROL
The Port Health Authority has no local authority powers under the Public Health Act, 1961
to abate or mitigate any nuisance, annoyance or damage caused by the congregation of pigeons in
any built-up area, but powers are available under the Food Hygiene (Docks, Carriers, etc.) Regulations,
1960, not to permit the use of premises which are in such a state as to expose food to the
risk of contamination and, to this end, the managers of such premises are required to take corrective
action to the satisfaction of the Port Health Authority.
Official supervision is exercised over operational extermination of feral pigeons which
includes trapping, shooting, narcotising and gassing, as well as destruction of the nested eggs.
By far the greater number destroyed is by organised narcotic and gas operations. These are
conducted by an authorised Contractor, employed by the Port of London Authority, the sites being
chosen after careful observations of conditions and circumstances. The Ministry of Agriculture
have approved the narcotic "alpha-chloralose" with which a cereal base is impregnated and the
stupefied pigeons are then collected, checked for any particular identification, and the feral
pigeons given a lethal dose of carbontetrachloride gas.
The number of pigeons destroyed during the year is considerably less than in 1965, but this
is attributed to the general upheaval and re-construction within the Port, with the demolition of a
large granary, and the effectiveness of pigeon control operations in the area immediately outside
the Port.
(1965)
Number of pigeons destroyed by gas and shooting 14,686 (25,550)
Number destroyed after trapping 506 ( 822)
Number of eggs destroyed 311 ( 1,310)
FOOD HYGIENE (DOCKS, CARRIERS, Etc.) REGULATIONS, 1960.
The general standard of hygiene continues to improve in all aspects of the Regulations.
The siting of sanitary conveniences and their distance from a particular place of work is an
important factor to be considered, particularly when men are engaged on piece work and may be
disinclined to leave their job for longer than is absolutely necessary.
Where mechanical installations have been introduced it is essential that in particular the
parts which come in contact with food cargo must be kept clean and therefore design and type of
material used are important factors to be considered as well as a cleaning code of practice. To
this end close co-operation is maintained with the industry concerning all new installations.
FOOD HYGIENE (GENERAL) REGULATIONS, 1960/62.
Passenger launches which operate the summer services on the River Thames are surveyed
annually by the Board of Trade during the early part of the year. This survey is carried out at
the owner's repair yard during refit. The opportunity is taken on these occasions to examine
those parts of the launches which normally would be inaccessible during service i.e. behind
panelling and below floors. Thorough cleaning of these spaces is carried out in addition to
protective coating of wood and metal parts. This ensures that launches are in a sanitary condition
when they come into service. During this period of refit bulk fresh water storage tanks are
opened for inspection and cleaning. They are later chlorinated, together with the distribution
system. Particular attention is also paid to paintwork, fittings and equipment.
During the summer season every endeavour is made to preserve the initial clean fresh appearance
and standard on board. Regular inspection of these craft is carried out under the Regulations.
The Food Hygiene standard on board and of the catering establishment from which food is supplied
for consumption on board, is highly satisfactory.
The policy of successive annual improvements of public amenities on board these craft has
received a set back and no improvements were carried out during the 1966 refits. Many of the
desirable features previously introduced, such as coloured toilet suites, towels and soap dispensers
and quality furnishings have been abused by the public in recent years. Owners are now reluctant
to replace these, other than by more durable and purely functional fittings.
The three larger vessels continued to operate the traditional services to coastal resorts and
the Continent The standard of hygiene on board these vessels has been highly satisfactory. The
exemption certificates previously granted to these ships by the Authority, because of the structurally
imposed limitation of bulk fresh water storage on board remain in operation.
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