Birmingham bye-laws for the regulation of slaughterhouses: 1852

At a meeting held on March 19th 1852 the General Purposes Committee presented the following bye laws for the regulation of slaughterhouses in the borough. These were approved by the Council and stamped with the corporate common seal. The following is taken from the second volume of Birmingham Council’s minute books which can be found at The Library of Birmingham, BCC1/AA/1/1/2 

No. 1    The occupier of every slaughterhouse within the borough shall cause the same to be well and sufficiently ventilated to the satisfaction of the Council or Committee appointed by the Council so as at all times to admit a free circulation  of air therein, and shall also cause the same to be thorough whitewashed with quicklime at twice in each year namely between the 1st and 10th of March and the 1st and 10th of September

No. 2    Every occupier of a slaughterhouse shall provide and keep a sufficient number of tubs, boxes or vessels with tight and close fitting covers thereto constructed to the satisfaction of the Council for the purpose of receiving and conveying away all manure garbage and filth; and shall in all cases except as hereinafter provided immediately after the killing and dressing of any cattle in such slaughterhouse cause all such manure garbage and filth to be placed in such tubs, boxes and vessels, and such tubs, boxes and vessels together with their contents shall be removed beyond the limits of the Borough or to such place as shall be appointed by the Council at least once in every 14 days or oftener if requested between the hours of 10 at night and 8 in the morning; and all the blood arising from the slaughtering of cattle shall be put into separate tubs or vessels with close fitting covers and shall not be permitted to flow in the channel or sewer or open street. Provided always that no blood shall be put into the same tubs or vessels in which the manure garbage or other filth is put. Provided always that the manure, garbage and other filth shall not be kept or carried away in such tubs boxes and vessels where impermeable covered drains are provided for carrying away the same.

No. 3    All the tubs and vessels which are used for the removal of any manure, garbage and filth, and all the tubs and vessels which are used for the removal of blood from any slaughterhouse shall immediately after being used for such removal be thoroughly emptied, cleansed and purified, and the floor of such slaughterhouse shall then also be effectually scoured and cleansed and the whole shall generally be kept in such a condition that neither within the slaughterhouse nor without it shall there be any offensive smell arising therefrom.

No. 4    Every occupier of such slaughterhouse shall remove or cause to be removed from such slaughterhouse the hides and skins of any cattle that shall be slaughtered therein within two days next after such cattle shall have been slaughtered.

No. 5    The occupier of any such slaughterhouse shall not slaughter or suffer to be slaughtered therein any diseased or unsound cattle

No. 6    Every occupier of such slaughterhouse, in case of diseased or unsound cattle being brought to such slaughterhouse shall forthwith give information thereof to the Council, or to their authorised officer in that be any cattle in such slaughterhouse behalf.

No. 7    No occupier of any slaughterhouse shall build or permit any access or opening to any privy or middenstead from such slaughterhouse to be made or if now made to remain, nor shall any such occupier permit or suffer any pigs or other animals to be kept in any slaughterhouse, except for the purpose of being fasted previous to killing.

No. 8  No occupier of any slaughterhouse shall keep or retain any cattle in such slaughterhouse for a longer period than 72 hours previous to the slaughtering of the same.

No. 9    The occupier of every slaughterhouse shall cause the same to be thoroughly washed and cleansed within 3 hours after the completion of the slaughtering and dressing of any cattle therein on any day during which any such slaughtering or dressing shall take place.

No. 10    The occupier of any such slaughterhouse shall not keep or permit to be kept in such slaughterhouse or premises any ferocious dog, unless such dog shall be securely fastened or muzzled.

No. 11    All members and authorised officers of the Council shall have free access to every slaughterhouse, and to every part thereof at any time when they shall demand admission for the purpose of inspecting and examining into the condition thereof with regard to the cleanliness, ventilation and management thereof.

No. 12    The occupier of every registered slaughterhouse shall cause the word ‘slaughterhouse’ together with the number corresponding with the number ch slaughterhouse shall be registered in the Register kept for that purpose by the Council to be painted or otherwise inscribed to the satisfaction of the said Council on, over or adjoining to the outside of the door or entrance to such slaughterhouse, and there kept and continued free from any obliteration or defacement.

No. 13    The occupier of every slaughterhouse shall cause a copy of these bye laws written or printed in large characters to be affixed in some conspicuous place of such slaughterhouse to the satisfaction of the Council and of their authorised officer, and to be at all times kept and continued in such place; and in case such copy of these bye laws or any part thereof should be obliterated or defaced such occupier shall forthwith affix in the same conspicuous place as aforesaid another copy of the said bye laws in lieu thereof.

No. 14    Every occupier of any slaughterhouse within the said borough who shall in any respect fail to comply with either of the foregoing bye laws or in anywise offend against the same or who after due notice from the Council requiring such slaughterhouse to be whitewashed, purified and cleansed shall neglect so to do, or who shall at anytime refuse to allow any member, officer or servant of the Council an inspection of the premises shall forfeit and pay for each and every offence any sum not exceeding the sum of £5 and and a further penalty of 10s/- for every day during the continuance of the offence after written notice thereof from the Council; the said penalties to be recovered and applied as the statute directs.

At a meeting of the Town Council held on August 17th, the General Purposes Committee reported that having submitted the above bye-laws to the Recorder for approval, numbers 5, 6 and 15 had been disallowed (though there is no 15)


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