1 MARCH 1930, Page 17


It is, perhaps, no wonder that people so poor should kill even the smallest birds for food. Though Spain is, in parts,

the richest country in Europe for many bigger birds, I have just spent some weeks in a district where it was an event to sec any bird of any sort ; and where, by chance, a few would

collect there was gathered a company of men or small boys armed with simple nets and decoy birds in very small cages. Not all are caught for food. Even the poorest delight in the possession of caged birds, and no one so much as suggests that a bird needs space to stretch its wings and move its members. The worst sufferers are not small birds, but that unexpected favourite, the French partridge. I came upon one roadside inn where two of these birds were prisoned in cages hung up on either side of the chief door, and the birds had learned the queerest movements, especially of head and .neck, so as to suit their exercise to the size of the narrow bars. It does not seem to occur to anyone that cruelty exists in, such matters or in any others relating to birds or beasts.