Rat-infested illegal shisha den in Batley is shut down by council officers

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A business in Batley has been shut down on food safety grounds following an inspection by Kirklees Council’s environmental health department.

Following several complaints, council officers visited Chai Shai (Limited), on Albion Street, and found people smoking shisha pipes inside the premises.

The business operators chose to ignore the numerous warnings given to them by the council and, as a result, more than 40 shisha pipes and a substantial amount of tobacco was seized during the inspection, which ended with the business being shut down.

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During the inspection, it was also found that there was an active rat infestation in the premises and therefore officers identified an imminent risk to public health.

Some of the shisha pipes that were seized by the enforcement officersSome of the shisha pipes that were seized by the enforcement officers
Some of the shisha pipes that were seized by the enforcement officers

The premises were closed using a hygiene emergency prohibition notice. An application was made to Kirklees Magistrates Court for a hygiene emergency prohibition order, which was granted on July 6.

The business is prohibited from operating until an authorised officer is satisfied that the premises are no longer a risk to public health.

Environmental health officers are working with the owners so that the business can open again and operate safely.

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Coun Will Simpson, cabinet member for culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “The indoor smoking ban applies to shisha as well as regular tobacco.

"To smoke in any public premises with a roof, at least half the wall space must be open, under the smoke-free legislation. This was not the case at this business.

“We will always take action to tackle the negative health impacts arising from direct and passive smoking; this includes the seizure of smoking paraphernalia such as shisha pipes and tobacco from premises such as this one.

"Our aim is to make Kirklees a cleaner and healthier place to live and work. We will continue to take such action where necessary to achieve that goal."

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Smoke-free legislation applies to business owners, managers and those who have the responsibility to comply with smoke-free legislation.

Failure to comply is an offence and risks prosecution, resulting in fines of up to £2,500.

Kirklees Council’s Smoke Free Team undertakes regular visits to premises, often accompanied by the police and Trading Standards officers.

The smoking laws apply to waterpipes whether the shisha products being smoked contain tobacco or not.