28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 14

Traps and the W.A.E.C.s Reports from many parts of England

suggest that the cruelties inflicted by the setting of steel-toothed traps in the open have greatly increased. bigger birds have lost parts of their limbs, smaller birds have been killed; domestic animals have been lamed and even grazing animals injured. This increase in cruelty is directly due to encouragement 'by the War Agricultural Executive Committees, whose object of course ji to destroy rabbits, which may be. very harmful on the farm. There are, of course. other and much better ways of killing rabbits ; and these committees would absolve themselves from a sin in the soul and do very much more good if they themselves would cooperate in the work of scientific destruction. The legalising of the open use of the most cruel form of trap in existence is a confession of their own inefficiency. 04 the ques- tion of farmers' enemies the grey squirrel has recently multiplied so rapidly in the northern counties, where it was rare, that farmers have organised "squirrel dubs " on the model of the older rat and sparross clubs, for the reduction of these " tree rats," which seem to become more and more fruitarian, as they became, according to Buffon, more and more cereal, that is eaters of maize, in South America.