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MOUNTAIN ASH LOCAL BOARD.

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COUNTY OF GLAMORGAN.

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MERTHYR TYDFIL LOCAL BOARD…

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A PLEA FOR THE BEASTS THAT'…

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A PLEA FOR THE BEASTS THAT PERISH. THE ordinary and too common cruelties, as well as the more appalling atrocities, prac- tised upon our humbler fellow-creatures, are an outrago upon humanity and a scandal to the times. Notwithstanding the praise- worthy efforts of Christian men and women, despite tho vigilance of paid officers, and in defiance of the police authorities, shocking barbarities constantly occur, to tho disgust of the public, every now and then stung into a fever of indignation against brutish scoundrels convicted of cruelty to animals. It is sad to think that this spasmodic vlitue is not more generally utilized upon economic, not to mention higher grounds, in the in- terests of the beasts that perish. The old and absurd notion that what is everybody's business is nobody's business, operates to render nugatory many attempts to protect horses, cattle, and other animals from injury and pain. This thoughtless apathy, how- ever, is by no means creditable to those who evince so little feeling as to withdraw f"om the championship of a maltreated creature, simply because intervention involves loss of time and occasions trouble. It ought not to be forgotten that we hold our flocks and herds in trust, and that a just consideration for animate beings is one of tho primary obligations imposed upon mankind. It is a duty which cannot be neglected with im- punity, and is of paramount importance, not only upon moral grounds, but as a measure of sanitary police. Principle and expedi- ency alike suggest the display of a compas- sionate regard for the humbler ministers to our wants and comforts, and however much their claims may be derided by savage- minded men, imbued with a contempt for what they look upon as weak sentimentalism, the justice of their cause will assert itself, and tho validity of their right to protection be made apparent. It is scandalous to think how much misery is inflicted upon cattle by the reckless conduct of those to whom they are entrusted. Dealt with as chattels, desti- tute of feeling, thoy are subjected to incre- dible torture on their way from the pasture- grounds to the slaughter-house. They are kicked, goaded, cudgelled, and forced into trucks without water or food. Sometimes kept for hours on the outskirts of a railway station, or, as in the case ef Meithyr, in the centre of the town itself, their groans and lamentations disturb the day, and make night hideous. This protest against inhu- manity ought to have an eloquence more potent than appeals in the press, and more efficacious than the mandatory action of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But the bellowings andbleatings of the poor creatures are listened to as a matter of course. People are foolish enough to thinkâor rather to come to the conclusion without thinking at allâthat the torments to which cattle are doomed are not emong preventible wrongs. They shake their heads now and then, and express pity for the brutes, as with foaming mouths, and wild eye, and jaded form, and j weary feet, thoy stumble from the trucks to the slaughter- house. But they do very little else, and fail to realize the moral responsibility wb'ch rests on every indivinual to know the sogis of his influence over the victims of barbarity. It was said by Sterne that oiphans, in their helplessness, were peculiarly God's children. In a similar sense we should regard the lower animals as the special objects of ov; care. The police of the animate world is committed to mankind, and its cause is the cause of humanity. Yet such is the force of custom that many craelties are practised in quite a conventional way. Trke the cr1^ for instance. Can anyone doubt that the general impression among our street boys is that the animal is endowed with a tail for the simple purpose that it may be twisted ? The dealers, also, are evidently of opinion that it is an appendage provided for the express object of enabling theni to lift it into or out of a cart. Housewives, too, who are greatly to blame in this matter, must have white veal, and therefore the calf is gradually bled to death, its sufferings in- tentionally prolonged, and the poor beast, hung up-head downwardsâin slaughter- houses, is made to suffer excruciable agony in order to secure a fancied advantage. In- deed, oxen, sheep, pigs, and poultry all suffer far too much at the hands of purvey- ors, and it would almost seem that feelings of humanity had been eradicated from the hearts of a large proportion of people whose vocation it is to "kill for the market." We believe, however, that there is as little justification for neglect of humane precau- tions in the slaughter-house, or in the F^ing and plucking of poultry, as there is to be found for a systematic violation of kindly instincts in the transit of the animals by rail or road. There are also other crying evils, of an analogous description, which require to be abated. Horses suffer far more than they ought when at work, and" man's noblest conquest" is abused in a way which reflects lasting disgrace upon the conquerer. This is especially the case in mining and ironmaking districts, where the eyes of the general public and police are wanting as in- ducements to kindness or checks to cruelty. The hauliers too frequently deal with the animals in their charge very much as they do with the coal and iron. They are callous and indifferent to suffering, and where but little concern is felt for the risk incurred by human beings, none at all is exhibited for the poor brutes doomed to drudgery of the hardest kind. We fear that much of the evil is due to neglect in early life. Lads, especially, are prone to treat the lower animals with cruelty. The habit begins at school Flies, spiders, frogs, birds, dogs, cats, all come in for their share of misery at the hands of predatory urchins, and even on Sunday, scenes are to be witnessed in Mer- thyr and the surrounding districts, which suggest that the teachers in the Sabbath schools might appropriately apply and en- forceJhe precepts of humanity, with parti- cular reference to the great wrongs wantonly inflicted upon harmless and inoffensive creatures. Children should be taught that loving their neighbours means not only kindness to them, but abstention from stoning their dogs, hunting their cats, tormenting their cattle, and riding their horses to death. Indeed, cruelty in all its hideous forms should be emphatically con- demned, and the claims of the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and all ? timate things to gentle treatment insisted upon with persistent zeal and growing earnestness. It is also to bo hoped that m connection with this pal ticular form of socif evilâat which wo can only glance within the compass of an ordinary newspaper articleâthe police authorities and other officials will exercise increased vigilance. The public owe it to themselves no less than to the poor creatures, whose mute appeals for protection f"om needless anguish and suffering touch their he- rts, to aid and assist in putting an offeccial stop to the merciless treatment which we desire to expose and condemn. In London, the other day, up- wards of eighty drovers and slaughter-men were convicted and fined for cruelty to animals, and a few examples in our own neighbourhood might bo made with general advantage, Wo plead for those who cannot mrmtain their own cause, and we ask all men and women, with holy compassion in their hearts, to avow themselves the pro- tectors of the creatures whose subjugation is at once a source of comfort and responsi- bility to mankind. It should be impossible, in a Christian land, for the beasts that perish to offer their mute reproaches against us on the ground of flagrant inhumanity.

LOCAL INTELLIGENCE.

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ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.

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MERTHYR BOARD OF GUARDIANS.

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MERTHYR POLICE COURT.