16 JANUARY 1948, Page 15

Sm,—Mr. Harold Nicolson's condemnation is well timed and just Of

course, what we enjoy or do not enjoy at a show is a matter of taste, but, if we are to accept the principle that animals should not be exploited to serve no useful purpose, what case can be made out for performing animals ? To say that they cannot enjoy performing is putting it mildly ; and although it may be correct that the animals at Mills Circus are well treated, does this apply at every circus? I fear that Mrs. Pomeroy is far nearer the mark. Of horses, I have but little knowledge, but I have lived with dogs all my life and I entirely agree with Mr. Nicolson that they are acutely sensitive to ridicule. Quite apart from cruelty (and I find it quite impossible to believe that performing dogs are always trained by kindness and not by fear of punishment) is it really necessary to force dogs publicly to make themselves idiotic? And did God put elephants and sea-lions into the world in order that man might force them to become unwilling exhibitionists?—Yours faithfully,