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

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City of London 1970

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

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Enquiries were carried out in July concerning a dog which had been brought into this country
illegally. The owner was staying in an hotel in London where she was keeping the dog, but
despite the assistance of the Police, attempts to contact her proved unsuccessful and she returned
home to America. The owners address in America was eventually obtained and a letter
was sent to the American Authorities requesting a health report on the dog. This was received
and showed the dog had remained healthy.
A yacht which had berthed at Tunnel Pier, Wapping, with several dogs on board during
1968 and 1969, returned once again this year and was visited in November. The dogs, as on the
previous occasions, were kept on a lower deck from which there was no possibility of escape.
The terms of the above Order were explained to the Captain of the vessel.
Animals (Sea Transport) Order 1930 — Horses (Sea Transport) Order 1952
These Orders contain regulations designed to prevent unnecessary suffering and for the
protection of animals, To ensure that the terms and conditions of the Orders were complied with,
numerous visits were made to docks in connection with the exportation of animals to various
countries. The animals comprised 9 bulls, 8 heifers, 16 pigs and one pony and were exported to
South Africa, Portugal, Malta and Finland. All were exported for breeding purposes.
Export Certificates
84 certificates of health were issued to ten firms enabling them to export such varied
commodities as pheasants, horsemeat, hog casings, ducks feet, dog biscuits, wood pigeon,
beef striploins, hares-, mallard, ducks liver, sheep carcases, chickens, ducks, poussin, ostrich
feathers, grouse and woodcock. A health certificate was also issued for a toy poodle dogwhich
was being exported to Zambia.
Exotic Animals (Importation) Order 1969
This Order imposes a prohibition on exotic animals (prescribed in the Order) and required
such animals brought to Great Britain in contravention of the Order (with exceptions) to be
slaughtered. In preference to slaughter, homes were found for such animals and in one case
great difficulty was experienced in finding a home for an African Colobus Monkey, but eventually
it was accepted by a breeding establishment in Jersey.
Rabies Order 1938
A Committee of Inquiry was set up by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food following
two cases of rabies which occurred at Camberley and Newmarket and, at their request, several
suggestions were made to the Committee concerning security of imported animals and those kept
on vessels in the Port of London.
There were several cases of suspected rabies requiring the action of Corporation Officers.
In May an imported monkey at an address in Islington died and was suspected of having rabies.
Two cases occurred in June; one concerning a dog in N.W.I, and the other a cat and a rabbit at
an address in Brixton. There was also the unfortunate case when a baby was mauled by an
alsatian dog. The animal was not in fact suspected of having rabies but precautions were taken
nevertheless.
In each of these cases tests were carried out and all proved negative for rabies. Restriction
notices were served on contact animals and these were withdrawn following the results of the
tests.
Diseases of Animals (Therapeutic Substances) Order 1952
Under the terms of this Order, the importation of therapeutic substances which are defined
therein, is prohibited except under the authority of a licence.
In October information was received that some rabies vaccine had been imported contrary
to the terms of the Order and arrangements were made for the vaccine to be collected and destroyed.
It was not possible to ascertain the identity of the importer.
Acts and Orders 1970
The following Orders, affecting the work of the department, came into operation during the
year.
Export of Horses (Excepted Cases) Order 1969
Export of Horses (Protection) Order 1969
These Orders, which came into operation on 1st January, contain regulations for veterinary
examination of certain horses intended for export. Amongst other things there is a requirement
that horses should be rested at approved premises for at least 10 hours before loading on to a
vessel or aircraft in which they are to be exported.
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