We publish this month a report of a case which was recently heard by the Stipendiary at Middlesbrough, in which a Co‐operative Society was summoned for being in possession of meat which was condemned as tuberculous and as unfit for human food. In view of the magisterial decision, it is of interest to review the facts of the case. It appears that Inspector WATSON visited the defendant society's slaughter‐house, and that he saw there several carcases hanging up and an employee dressing a carcase which was obviously tuberculous. In reply to Inspector WATSON'S demand, the internal organs of the animal were produced and were found to be covered with tuberculous nodules. Dr. DINGLE, the Medical Officer of Health, accompanied by Mr. G. ANDERSON, the Chief Sanitary Inspector, subsequently visited the slaughter‐house and agreed that the carcase was undoubtedly tuberculous and quite unfit for human food. Accordingly they seized the carcase which was subsequently condemned by order of the magistrate. When the defendant society was summoned before the Court, the counsel for the prosecution pointed out that when Inspector ANDERSON visited the slaughter‐house he asked the slaughterer why he had continued dressing the carcase when it was obvious to anyone that the meat was tuberculous. The condition of the carcase was not disputed by the defendants, but it was contended that the slaughter‐house was under the control of the manager and that no carcase would be removed until it had been inspected by him. In view of this contention for the defence, the magistrate held that it had not been proved that the meat was intended for human food, despite the fact that the diseased internal organs had been removed, and that the carcase had been dressed as if it were intended for use as food. If the decision in all such cases rested upon evidence of a similar nature, it is obvious that the Public Health Acts would become inefficient and useless, inasmuch as it would only be necessary for a defendant to state that any diseased meat found in his slaughter‐house was awaiting the inspection of the manager, and then the law could not interfere. Such a condition of things would obviously be unsatisfactory. The Stipendiary observed that the prosecution was justified, and commended the ability with which the Health Department carried on its work.
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