|BMB13/2, Prize pigs in Brown & Merry Sale Yard, c.1910|
Wednesday 17th January 1917: At the monthly meeting of Bedford Town Council, it was agreed to waive a bye-law placing restrictions on the keeping of swine within the town, owing to food shortages. A discussion took place regarding how to implement the resolution, some councillors favouring the formation of a special committee and others favouring placing responsibility for licenses with the Medical Officer of Health. The Medical Officer himself did not think it was fair to place the burden of this important matter on one man, and favoured a small and powerful committee made up of practical men. He felt that he would be best placed to advise on where pigs may be reared safely in the Borough, of which he knew of a number of places, even if some places were close to residences. All agreed that new public health measures were needed, prioritising food production and diet rather than cracking down on ‘nuisances’. The inconvenience of a few smells must not stand in the way of people’s basic need for food, and a small committee with executive powers was set up to license pig-keeping.
Source: Bedfordshire Standard 19/1/1917