HC Deb 21 May 1912 vol 38 c1882W

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that for the past thirty-seven years medical officers of health and inspectors of nuisances have had powers, under Section 117 of the Public Health Act, to seize, if diseased or unsound, live animals exposed for sale for human food; and, if so, why have such powers not been exercised in the interest of the health of the community?


The powers referred to, which are contained in Section 116 of the Public Health Act, 1875, have been exercised by the officers mentioned in the section, but difficulty often arises in negativing the contention that the animal was not intended for the food of man. In 1907 I caused a circular to be issued to local authorities bringing the matter under their notice, in order that they might, as far as possible, exercise supervision over the cattle in their districts with a view to anticipating, and so averting, possible or intended infringement of the law. I also suggested that suitable officers of the local authority should be instructed to watch closely the cattle markets, slaughterhouses, and knackers yards in the district, with the view of satisfying themselves that no animal, the condition of which appears to render it unfit for human consumption, is disposed of in such a manner that it is likely to be used for this purpose.