12 DECEMBER 1885, Page 3

The clerk of the works of the British Museum has

been con- victed, and punished by a nominal fine, for the cruel death he inflicted on so many Museum pigeons by feeding them with oatmeal mixed with spirits of wine. It does not appear that he knew what cruel pain would be inflicted, and therefore Sir James Ingham fined him only five shillings ; but a much severer 'penalty would certainly have been inflicted if there had been any evidence of intentional cruelty. Ought not, however, a heavier fine to be inflicted for mere negligence ? Is it not the positive 'ditty of a man in such a position to ask from a competent -authority what the effect will be of a poison he proposes to administer ? In our opinion a substantial fine should have been -imposed.