The Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection
held a very successful meeting last week at Southampton, under the presidency of the Bishop of Winchester, who laid down the broad and just principle that even admitting that discoveries beneficial to man may be made by series of experiments involving torture to animals, we have no right to purchase these discoveries at such a cost ; and he wisely added that the younger students of medicine needed as much " protection " in this relation as the sufferers themselves, since nothing could be more viti- ating to the whole spirit of their calling, than to find them- selves being early hardened by participating in the wilful in- fliction of suffering, and so losing sight of the noblest of their ultimate aims. Miss Cobbe spoke with her usual eloquence on the same subject, referring with just indignation to the licence granted this year by the Home Secretary for experiments at Edinburgh to be made under the influence of the drug called curare, which takes away from the victim all power of expressing pain, without diminishing the pain itself,—a sufficient excuse, perhaps, though we doubt whether it be a sufficient justification for the extension of the Society's aims to the full extent of Mr. Holt's impracticable Bill. A Bill which would render unlawful all experimental inoculations of animals with disease, in spite of the great success of some of these inoculations in saving them from the worst results of disease, obviously goes too far. The Society might almost as well try to prevent the moderate use of a whip in driving. Nevertheless, the Society is doing a great work.