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Offensive Trades

trade, noxious, business, injurious, health, nuisance and authority

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OFFENSIVE TRADES, and " noxious" ones, are the subject of statutory restriction by the Public Health Act, 1875, a trade being legally an offensive one only w hen the processes involved in its exercise are necessarily noxious and are injurious to health, unless it is a trade to which this definition can hardly apply with strictness, but is brought within the scope of the statute by specific provision. That a particular trade is a cause of inconvenience, unhappiness, or disgust to those %lio dviell near the scene of its exercise, is not in itself a sufficient reason for calling it an offimsive or noxious one within the meaning of the above statute. But the trades of the blood boiler, bone boiler,fcllmonger, soap boiler, tallow in el t er, tripe boiler, are specifically labelled noxious or offensive by section 112 of the above Act, and they cannot be established within the district of an urban authority, such as a town, without their previous consent in writing. Nor can "any other noxious or offensive trade, business, or manufacture." A business of bone-steaming, where the work is done in hermetically sealed cylinders and does not cause an offensive smell, would not, according to Cardiff Manure Co. v. Cardiff Guardians, be a "noxious or offensive trade," &c. nor would a rag and bone or retail fish frying business be necessarily noxious or offensive (Passel) v. Oaford Local Board; Braintree L. B. v. lieliton); nor the business of a manure merchant and manufacturer (Cardwell v. New quay L. B.); nor that of a brickmaker (1Vanstead v. Hill). A business to be noxious or offensive IN ithin the statu tory meaning must be one which is also analogous to those particularly specified in the Act ; it must be a trade or manufacture connected with animal matter. Whoever establishes or carries on a trade within the pro scribed limits without the necessary consent will be liable to a penalty of 250 "in respect of the establishment thereof, and any person carrying on a business so established shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings for every day on which the offence is continued, v.hether there has or has not been any conviction in respect of the establishment thereof." And an urban authority can make bye-laws in order to prevent or diminish the noxious or injurious effects of any offensive trade established with their consent. Offen

sive trades of all kinds—not only those the subject of section 112—can he dealt with by an urban authority under the powers and subject to the conditions of section 114 of the same Act. This section requires the autho rity to make a complaint to a local magistrate whenever it has been certified to the authority that " any candle-house, melting-house, melting-place, or soap-house, or any slaughterhouse, or any building or place for boiling offal or blood, or for boiling, burning, or crushing bones, or any manufactory, building, or place used for any trade, business, process, or manufacture causing effluvia" is a " nuisance or injurious to the health of any inhabitants of the district"—even if to only one or a few of them, provided he or they are at least temporarily sick as a consequence thereof. The certificate should be by the medical officer of health of the authority ; but this official's certificate can be dispensed with if the facts are certified by any two legally qualified medical practitioners, or by any ten inhabitants of the district. Rich and poor, male and female, householder and lodger, are each entitled to join in the certificate; and the latter need only go so far as to state that the par ticular business complained of is " a nuisance" or "injurious to the health ;" it is not necessary that both these effects of the trade should co-exist. The complaint having been duly made, the magistrate must summon the person by or on whose behalf the trade so complained of is carried on. If on the hearing of the summons the Court decides that the trade is a nuisance, or causes an effluvia which is a nuisance or injurious to the health of any of the inhabitants of the district, the offender will be liable to heavy penalties. But he can escape conviction if he can show that he has used the best prac ticable means for abating the nuisance, or preventing or counteracting the effluvia. And, moreover, the Court can suspend its final decision of the case on condition that he underta.kes to adopt, within a reasonable time, such means as the Court may deem practicable, and order to be carried into effect, for abating the nuisance, or mitigating or preventing the injurious effects of the effluvia. And the decision may also be suspended if he gives proper notice of appeal to the Quarter Sessions.

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