28 MARCH 1896, Page 14



Sin,—In the Spectator of March 21st, Mr. Bear (who has since been in communication with me) seems to throw some doubt on my statement published in several papers as to the leech-swamps at Bordeaux. No doubt it does seem incredible to people who hear of these things for the first time, but, un- fortunately, it is true in every particular, and since my letter appeared I have heard that the Bordeaux swamps are not the only ones. My statements were verified before being sent to the public Press, and I first beard of it from an eye-witness- Since my letter appeared I have had very many letters from strangers, some confirming my facts from personal esperi- ence. As yet nothing can be done to stop the atrocity, owing to there being no law to meet the matter. The R.S.P.C.A. have known of it for years, and have not been able to stop it,. and as the secretary said in a letter to me on the subject, "There is also no law to atop the shipping of horses to. France provided they are in a fit state to travel." As to the French S.P.C.A., Mr. Bear quite forgets that there is no law to prevent vivisection, and this leech- feeding after all is only another form of vivisection. Of course it is not necessary to feed leeches on living flesh,. but the owners of the swamps say it is necessary; and no doubt it is necessary—to their speculation, as the leeches, when thus fed, multiply quicker.

As to the caresses—about which Mr. Bear seems so con- cerned—they are, of course, extricated, otherwise the swamps. would soon be full of them. At present the only thing to do is to make the matter as public as possible in order to prevent the carelessness and indifference owners of horses show when they send their animals to be killed, or sell them for a pound. ortwo when no longer useful, and then trouble no further about them. I am happy to say that many papers have helped in this object—including your valuable journal—by copying my letter, or referring to it in their columns. If find that anything can be done by forming a Society in. Bordeaux, I shall trust to this same generosity to insert an appeal for funds. I have had very many offers of aid already, and am inquiring whether it is possible to suppress this. form of " civilisation " by any means. But I very much fear- that nothing can be done in the present state of the law.

In the meanwhile I beg all who have been horrified by this matter to inquire what becomes of their horses when they sell them or send them to be killed.—I am, Sir, 8ce., Walton-on-Thames, March 24th. M. HADDEIT.

[Would it not be well to verify the statistics P Mr. Ha.dden in his first letter spoke, we think, of twenty thousand horses. But to what perioa f ti Mt: does that number apply?—En. Spectator.1