The Bishop of Llandaff
presented a petition from the Members of the Association for promoting Rational Humanity towards the Animal Creation, complaining of the position of the great Metropolitan Cattle Market, and praying for the establishment of four Live Cattle Markets, with contiguous Abattoirs, in the outskirts of the City. The petitioners stated, that Smithfield market was utterly inadequate to the reception of the number of cattle necessary for the consumption of London, and that being 463 situated in the heart of the Metropolis, it was necessary to drive cattle through crowded thoroughfares, in many instances through many miles of the most frequented streets, causing suffering to the animals and danger to the passengers. The right reverend Prelate said, that a stranger would hardly believe that the only live cattle market in London was situated in the very centre of the city, surrounded by narrow streets, through miles of which the cattle had to be driven. The object of the Society in petitioning their Lordships, was in hopes of drawing public attention to the nuisance, in hopes that some means might be taken to get rid of it; and they suggested, what appeared to him to be a very feasible plan of doing so, by establishing more commodious cattle markets in the outskirts of the Metropolis, to be placed under the superintendence of the public authorities. At the time the Smithfield market was formed, it was the outskirts of the city, and the neighbourhood was by no means populous. It could not, therefore, be taken as an argument against the proposed plan, that our ancestors had, in their wisdom, considered the heart of the town the proper situation for a market. He considered, too, that it was a matter worthy of consideration, that by this plan they would get rid of the nuisance and danger attending the driving of the cattle through the crowded and narrow streets; and the cattle themselves would be spared the torture which they suffered during their progress through those crowded thoroughfares. The improvement proposed by the petitioners had been found practicable in the capital of France, where the Abattoirs were all situated in the more remote parts of the city, and so constructed that the terror and pain inflicted on the animal was brought down to its minimum. The only obstacles to the plan were the existing interests of those in the neighbourhood of the present market. He thought the loss would be very small, if any; but even supposing that there might be some loss incurred by the change, he did not suppose that the Corporation of the city of London, which was very wealthy, would demur on account of the loss, where the object to be gained was so important. He hoped that some noble Lord would take up this matter, and bring in a Bill upon the subject. He would willingly do so himself but he felt himself wholly inadequate to the task.
The Bishop of Bristol
supported the prayer of the petition. He thought it a 464 matter of importance as connected with the health of the metropolis, for the cattle could not be so fit for food when killed after being over-driven and heated in passing through the crowded streets. He hoped that the Government would think the subject worthy of its attention.