( )Present: Be Samp ayo J.
ABEYESEKEBE v. MOHAMADO.
256—M. C. Colombo, 658.
Mutton ■ offal—M eat—Municipal Counoiti Ordinance, s. 802—Butchers
" Meat " in Butchers Ordinance malnilM nffal
Where an accused had the botcher's license to sell meat (motiononly, excluding offal), as well as another under the Botchers Ordi-nance, from the Chairman, Municipal Conncil, and he was chargedwith selling offal—
EM, he had the permission of the Chairman to sell offal.
accused was charged with having sold or exposed for sale
“ mutton offal ” in the Edinburgh market without thepermission of the Chairman of the Municipal Council, in breachof section 202 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance, No. 6 of 1910.At this time the accused had two licenses: one from the Chairmanfor a certain stall at Edinburgh market authorizing him to sell“ meat (mutton only, excluding offal),” and the other under theButchers Ordinance, No. 9 of 1893. The latter authorized' him toslaughter animals mid to carry on the trade of a butcher at thisstall. He Magistrate acquitted the accused, holding that “ meat ”included “ offal.”.
A. St. V. Jayawardene (with him Kevneman), for complainant,appellant.—The license from the Chairman specially excluded“offal,” and it is distinguished from “meat.” Offal is meat unfitfor human consumption. The Butchers Ordinance does not
1 (1911) 14 N. L. B. 310.
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distinguish “ offal ” from “ meat.” But that license alone is notsufficient. ..The Chairman’s license restricted his powers, and he ischarged under section 202 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance.
[De Sampayo J.—The accused ought to have been charged underby-law 14 of chapter XIII. of the Municipal Council’s by-latfs.]The Magistrate has not acquitted him on that ground. He says theby-laws are ultra vires (Seresinghe v. Ibrahim. Saibo 1). But thepresent by-laws are not, as they are under the Ordinance of 1910.
Hayley,- for accused, respondent.—The license given to theaccused is not vague. The Chairman’s license of December 20,1918, contains some limitations. But his butcher’s license gave himleave to carry on the trade of a butcher at Edinburgh market. Itcontained no limitations. The word “ butcher ” is clearly defined.
There is no proof that offal is not eaten by / human beings.Section 202 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance cannot have anyapplication.
Cur adv. vult.
June 4, 1919. De Sampayo J.—
The complainant, who is a Municipal Inspector, appeate on apoint of law from an order of the Municipal Magistrate acquittingthe accused. The complainant charged the accused with havingon February 24, 1919, sold or exposed for sale “ mutton offal ” inthe Edinburgh market without the permission of the Chairman ofthe Municipal Council, in breach of section 202 of the MunicipalCouncils Ordinance, No. 6 of 1910. It appears that the accusedat this time had a license issued to him by the Chairman for a certainstall in the Edinburgh market. It authorized him to sell “ meat(mutton only, excluding offal).” If the case against the accused isthat he sold offal in the stall in question in contravention of theterms of his license,/the charge should properly have been underby-law 14 of chapter XIII. of the Municipal Council’s by-laws,which penalizes the sale of “an article or thing other than what, is specified in his license.” It is said that the by-laws relating- to this matter were not relied on by the prosecutor,' because theyare considered to be invalid in consequence of the judgment inSeresinghe v. Ibrahim Saibo.* But that .case was decided underentirely different circumstances. Apart from this supposed attitudeOf the Municipal Council towards their own by-laws, the MunicipalMagistrate himself says that in Amerasinghe v. Abdul Sheriff 2 it washeld that the by-law under which the stall licenses are issued wasultra vires. That is a case decided by me, but, so far from holdingthat by-law or those connected with it to be invalid, I expresslyabstained from doing so, while at the same time I indicated certain
» (1903) 1 N. L. B. 208.
(1918) 5 O. W. B. 81.
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points which, in my view, might show the by-laws to be valid. Itis, however, unnecessary to consider that question here, becausethe accused is not charged with any breach of the by-laws.
So far as the stall license is concerned, the accused may be saidnot to have had the permission of the Chairman to sell offal orexpose the same for sale in the market. But the accused hadanother license, which must be taken into account. This was abutcher’s license issued to him by the Chairman under the OrdinanceNo. 9 of 1893. This license authorized him to slaughter animalsand to carry on the trade of a butcher at the stall in question.Section 3 of the Ordinance declares that ’* ‘ butcher ’ shall includeevery person that slaughters animals or exposes for sale the meat ofanimals slaughtered in the Colony." The accused, therefore, hadthe Chairman’s permission under the butcher’s license to sell meat.What is meat? Neither the Ordinance nor the license containsany limitation of its general meaning. The reason for this, I think,may be easily understood. " Offal," whatever it may mean, is anarticle of trade, and has some sort of value. A butcher ordinarilysells it, and must sell it or otherwise dispose of it, unless he is allowedto create a nuisance. When the accused’s license as a butcherauthorised him to sell meat, did it mean to exclude offal? I do notthink so. What is offal? Mr. Jay award ene says that it is parts ofan animal unfit for human consumption, such as “ cat’s meat ’’ or“dog’s meat.” Those very expressions, however, show that whatis intended for cats and dogs is nevertheless meat. Somebody mustsell such meat, and the butcher is the universal provider of it.There has also been a suggestion that offal is the entrail or stomachof an animal, and is therefore unfit for human consumption; butthis does not stand examination either. As I pointed out at theargument, tripe is not only eaten, but is a favourite dish with many.There is some difficulty in understanding what the prosecutorhimself means by offal, for he contents himself with saying thatthe accused exposed offal for sale, without specifying what thingswere in fact so exposed. He obscures the matter still further bycalling it “ mutton offal," for which, so far as I know, there is noprecedent in the English language. In this connection it is notice-able that the Chairman when using the word “ meat " in the stalllicense was obliged to explain within a bracket that by “ meat "he meant “ mutton only, excluding offal,” showing that but forthat explanation he would be giving permission to the accused tosell offal as well. In the butcher’s license, however, no such limita-tion is stated, but the accused is simply authorized to sell meat.In this state of perplexity the Magistrate naturally resorted to thedictionary for definitions. He there found that “ meat is the fleshof animals used as food," and that “ flesh is the substance whichforms a large part of an animal, consisting of the softer solids, asdistinguished from the bones, the skin, and the fluid," and he came
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to the logical conclusion that offal belonged to the category of“ meat.” Pursuing the same line of investigation, I find that offalis philologically off-fall, that is to say, that which falls off, as frag-ments or leavings regarded as of trifling value, and with regard toa butchered animal, it consists of “ the parts which are rejected asworthless or unfit for food.” (Funk and Wagnall.) But the tradeof a butcher, which the accused was permitted to carry on, includesthe sale of all parts of an animal, not excepting offal. We haveeven Shakespeare’s authority for “ butcher’s offal.” Accordingly,when the Butchers Ordinance defines a butcher as one who sells“ the meat of animals,” I think it does not attach a restrictedmeaning to the word “ meat.” Any such intention to impose arestraint on trade cannot be presumed. According to the ImperialDictionary, “ meat ” in the broadest sense is “ anything eaten orfit for eating as nourishment either by man or beast,” and inreference to the carcase of an animal, therefore, the word must include'all the parts used as food for man or beast. Considering the natureof a butcher’s business, I think the Ordinance uses the word “ meat ”in this large signification. Consequently I am of opinion that theaccused under the butcher’s license had the permission of theChairman to do what he was charged with doing.
The appeal is dismissed.