15 JULY 1876, Page 14



SIE,—It can hardly now be said that there is need to call atten- tion to this matter. The public mind is becoming informed, and no small amount of public feeling is stirred about it. But more is needed than attention or indignation. There must be deter- mined action, firm and unabated, till the foul thing is cast out, and the flaying, opening, and dissection of live animals, under

any pretext whatever, is abolished. One cannot believe that Englishmen should, in the light of the information they now possess, tolerate the infliction of torture on innocent and helpless creatures, endowed with sensibility, intelligence, and affection. Knowledge so sought' is forbidden knowledge, relief so obtained for ourselves can have no blessing.

We are told that if experiments on live animals are forbidden by law, the surgeons will experiment on human beings instead. It is much more likely that this will follow as the result of the present practice than be a substitute for it. The lesser is sure to lead to the greater, or at least to a less gentle treatment of the human patient, by men who have been trained in the infliction of torture. In spite of all that people may say about the high character of English surgeons for humanity and gentleness, vivisection, if permitted, must increase. International communi- cation is now so constant, that the habits of different countries are becoming more and more alike. What is now done by surgeons in Italy and Germany will certainly be done here in England, at no distant day. And everybody allows that vivisection is carried to a great excess in those countries. Let us dismiss all idea of this English character being likely to remain for ever of so sur- passingly superior a sort as some journals would wish us to