18 MAY 1878, Page 16


[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.") Sin,—The remarks of your recent correspondent " Philozoist " on the unsatisfactory attitude of many of the Societies for Pre- vention of Cruelty to Animals towards the matter of Vivisection are unhappily strikingly corroborated by the following extract from the Corrispondenza Telegrafica of the Corriere Italian°. The report of the proceedings in the Senate, Rome, May 3rd, runs thus :—" Torelli presented a petition from 500 graduates in medicine asking permission to cut up (sezionare) living dogs for anatomico-clinical experiments." As there is no law against vivisection in Italy, this petition is simply a demand that every wretched student may have unlimited right to torment the most intelligent and affectionate animals, without fear of molestation. And this request is presented by Count Torelli, President of the Roman "Society fur Protection of Animals."—I am, Sir, &c., F.

P.S.—Since writing the above, I have received from Italy the astounding statement (said to be made by Count Torelli himself) that the 500 doctors who petitioned the Italian Senate were Englishmen ! As there are not fifty English doctors in Italy, this can only signify that English doctors here in England have gone so out of their way as memorialise the Parliament of another country on behalf of unlimited vivisection,—a country, be it remembered, also, in which the practice has been notoriously carried to the extremity of reckless cruelty. We are perpetually assured that English physiologists are indefinitely more humane than their Continental coufrifres, and are in no way to be made responsible for their proceedings. Does this incident warrant us in believing they sincerely condemn their very worst abuses, or on the con- trary, desire to see them perpetuated and multiplied ?

[We suspect there must be some mistake. However zealous English doctors may be for vivisection, they can hardly be inclined to flaunt their preference in the eyes of the world, without any result to physiology or to themselves.—En. Spectator.]