THE R.S.P.C.A. MEETING [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—Your
contributor, " Moth," aptly remarks that Dry den's phrase "the fury of their kindness" hit off the temper of the recent annual meeting of the above Society. This certainly seems regrettable, but one wonders whether—had it been car- ried through, and business transacted .and resolutions passed according to prearranged plan—the minority (which, like most minorities, is progressive) would have had much chance of a hearing.
The clash of views is mainly on the question of hunting, and if the council is resolved that the Society should not concern itself with this, would it not simplify matters and avoid mis- understanding to add another word to its title ?—definitely labelling it what they desire it to remain, viz., the " Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Domestic Animals." It is true that, in this case, the large posters which it has lately issued must be revised, for these claim that it " defends the cause of all animals" ; and one hardly knows how, except as animals, deer, foxes, hares, otters, &c., can be described, or on what grounds, unless theytare specifically excluded from the Society's protection, cruelty to them is to be condoned.
I write as an old subscriber, who has repeatedly brought forward this matter, only to be assured that the question is very difficult, as any criticism of hunting, coursing, &c., would result in withdrawal of support to the Society by those who resent interference with their pleasures.
Whether this consideration should carry the weight that it appears to do is not for me to decide : I merely suggest that the addition of the word " domestic " to its title would define its limitations, for these are not made clear as it now stands.—