Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/231

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215
SLAUGHTER-HOUSE


Fig. 2. — Han of Public Slaughter-house and Cattle-market, Dtisseldorf (1


The average cost of slaughter-houses in Germany is given by Osthoff, of Berlin {Handbuch der Hygiene), as 7 to 8 marks per inhabitant if no cold chamber is provided, and from 10 to 12 marks per inhabitant if there is a cold chamber, or, in more detail, as follows : —


Number of Inhabitants.


Cost of Slaughter-house per Inhabitant, in Marks.


Without Cold Chamber.


With Cold Chamber.


5,000- 6,000 6,000- 8,000 8,000-15,000 15,000-20,000 Over 20,000


8

7 6

7 8


12 10

9 10 10


Slaughter-houses in Germany pay their own expenses, the fees received for the use of the slaughter-house, and for examination of meat and stamping after examination, providing a sufficient sum for this purpose. The fees vary in different places. From the works of Osthoff and Schwarz it would appear that these fees average about one pfennig per kilogramme of the living animal, or about half a farthing per ft of meat.

The corporation of the city of London have erected a slaughter- house at their cattle market in Islington in which slaughtering is done in a large hall divided by partitions into separate compartments. The compartments are not let to separate butchers but are used in common. The partitions do not extend to the ceiling, but are sufficiently high to prevent the slaughtering in one compartment being seen by the occupants of other compartments, and thus they necessarily provide less opportunity for inspection than is afforded by the open-slaughtering halls of Germany. The fees charged are is. 6d. per head for bullocks, 4d. for calves, 2d. for sheep, and 6d. per head for pigs. The accofhmodation is estimated as sufficient for the slaughter of 400 cattle, 1200 sheep, and 1200 calves and pigs Der day.

The centralization of the slaughtering and packing industries in the United States has not required slaughter-houses on the same plan as in Europe. Acts of Congress of 1890, 1891 and


1895 endeavoured to provide some amount of inspection, but sufficient appropriations were never made to carry it out, and there were also certain loopholes in the legislation. Although there were from time to time frequent cases of sickness directly traceable to the consumption of canned meats from the great packing centres, it was not until the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906), which dealt with the conditions in the Chicago packing yards, that steps were taken adequately to guard the public against insanitary conditions. A commission of inquiry was appointed by President Roosevelt, and as a result of its report there was passed in 1906 a national meat inspection law. This act required the department of agriculture to appoint inspectors to examine and inspect all cattle, sheep, swine and goats before being allowed to enter into any slaughtering, pack- ing, meat-canning, rendering or similar establishments. All such animals found to show any symptoms of disease must be set apart and slaughtered separately. All carcases must be inspected and labelled as either "inspected and passed" or " inspected and condemned." The act also provides for the inspection (and condemnation if necessary) of all meat food products as well as for the sanitary examination of all slaughtering, packing and canning establishments. Inspection and examination is now carried out very carefully at all stages of the industry, from inspection of the animals before they enter the slaughtering establishments up to the finished product.

The important feature of the Chicago and certain other western American cities slaughter-houses is their adaptation for rapidly dealing with the animals which they receive. At the Chicago slaughter-houses the cattle to be slaughtered are driven up a winding viaduct, by which, in certain of the houses, they eventually reach the roof. Each animal now passes into a narrow pen, where it is at once stunned by a blow on the head. It then falls through a trap-door in the pen into an immense slaughtering-room, where the hind legs are secured, and the animal hoisted by a wire rope suspended from a trolley-line. A knife is then plunged into its throat and the