The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1882. Cruelty to Animals.
Although an Act was passed so long ago as 1880, having for its object the prevention of cruelty to animals, it has been allowed to remain, practically, a dead letter up till within the last few months. Now, however, societies, having for their object the enforcing of the provisions of the Act in question, are springing up in all parts of the colony, and, judging from the energy that has been shown in the matter, we have no doubt that the efforts of the promoters of these societies will be crowned with success. At a meeting held in Christchurch the other day, it was shown that the local society has, even in the short time during which it has been in existence, done much good. This in itself is sufficient to prove that such an institution was called for, and it is to be hoped that aid will not be wanting to enable it to extend its usefulness. There are, unfortunately, to be found in every community brutes in human form who take a positive delight in torturing dumb animals, and it was only the other day that we had to chronicle an example of dastardly brutality which occurred not far from Ashburton. Nor are such instances rare, although they are not often brought to light, chiefly because, as the old adage puts it, “ What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” But when a society is formed, having its proper officers whose duty it is to see that the law is not infringed, the conviction of offenders is far more certain. At a meeting held in Christchurch on the 14th inst. a report was presented by the committee, from which we learn that the Society numbers 190 members, and the “ young persons ” branch 600. There have been six prosecutions, from which four convictions were obtained. This, however, does not give a complete idea of the work carried on by the Society, whose object is less to detect and punish cruelty than to discourage and prevent it. Besides that brutality towards animals which is characteristic of low natures, it must not be forgotten that many people are cruel from want of thought and not from heartlessness. Take as an example the very common practice of tying fowls tightly together and carrying them head downwards. This is none the less cruel because it is done in ignorance, and it is to cases of this kind that the Society gives particular attention. But, it need scarcely be said, the work cannot be carried on without funds, and we feel sure that an appeal to the charity of Ashburton people for assistance will not be made in vain. Already honorary agents for the Christchurch Society have been appointed in Timaru, Springfield and Rangiora, and there, is assuredly no reason why a similar braoch should not be established here.