The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit MONDAY, JUNE 2, 1890. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
It is not often in this Colony that the Press is called upon to record a case of illtreatinent of the brute creation such as that recorded from Christ-* church oh Saturday evening. Accord-' ing to the Press message, a drove of cattle was despatched from Wanganui to the Christchurch market without any provision being made for proper treatment on the journey, the result being that when the famished animals arrived at their destination iseveral of them fell doAvn from sheer exhaustion, while the remainder of the herd rushed madly- to a neighboiing ditch to quench their raging thirst. In the struggle to get to the water which the ditch. contained, several of the wretched animals were bogged and suffocated, and others fell victims to the greedy haste with which they had swallowed, the water. Such an instance: of the culpable neglect of the orclinary instincts of humanity would disgrace the untutored savage; and it is to be sincerely hoped that the responsible person or persons will be brought to book, and a substantial penalty be inflicted that will mark the public disapproval of so glaring a case of cruelty to animals. " The merciful man regardeth the life of his beast," and the unmerciful man must be taught to be merciful, if not upon the broad principle of kindness, at least from fear of the social and legal consequences. In different parts of -the Colony there .are Societies in existence whose special mission it is to protect the. lower creation from the cruelties of the vicious, the mercenary, or the neglectful amongmankind; and the fewness of the cases brought before the Courts by these bodies speaks volumes for the humane care usually exercised in transporting live stock from one locality to another, and also bears testimony to the good treatment shown by our population towards the large number of the brute creation kept either for profit or amusement. In order that this healthy public spirit may be fostered it is essential that evil-doers be rigorously dealt with, and publicity given to their offences. This course acts not only as a means of making known the disgrace of those who offend, but, what is much more important, serves as a salutary warning to those who, either from a vicious or neglectful disposition, practise cruelty towards animals in their charge or under their control. Refractory and vicious animals of the lower creation, it is true, require occasional chastisement just the same as refractory specimens of the human meo, bufc when this chasti&ement takes the form of cruelty, ifc is right and px%oper that the offender should be brought to book, J]\ casos, of the kind last referred to, however, there may exist the excuse that tho offenders arc carried away by a naturally bad temper ; but no such excuse can be urged on behalf of those who trade in live stock, and who, in order to secure larger returns of profit, neglect to provide food and water for their stock during long journeys to market. But, even allowing the Wanganui case to be one of thoughtlessness rather tiianof actual parsimony, the offenders should be taught a lesson which will prevent them from acting similarly on a future occasion.