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taitC OiTBSB. I -+- I 0 17 1 Hares and Rabbits: the Injury they inflict upon 1. the Land. We extract the following from The Farmer: — "The bill to acseiid the laws as to the killing of hares and rabbits, which has been introduced by Sir William Stirling-Maxwel], M.P., a,ppears on the whole well adapted to remove a great and justifiable source of complaiat on the past cf tenant farmers. Battue-shooting, a French-field mode of slaughter- ing game, without an atom of sportsman-like spirit to recommend it, has been the source of much of that over- preservation that has been so bitterly complained of by farmers. There can be no fun, no sport whatever, in battue shooting; it is simply a lazy system of wholesale slaughter; and, to supply material for carrying it on, it is necessary that game and varmin shall be multiplied to the utmost extant, wishout reference to the manner in which the aaiinala are fed. If it be considered essential that a supply of game—at least four-footed game-for battue-shooting be maintained, let this be done in soma well-ezi closed place; let the hares and rabbits be fed just as sheep are fed, and then, if gentlemen choose to act the noble part of amateur poulterers, let them do so by ell means; but let them not dignify such pro- ceedings with the name of sport. Boar-hunting is sport of the most exciting kind, but sticking pigs in a farm-yard is slow work, and, at the beat, merely slaughter; and there is just as much difference between real epori. aa found in trudging after game on the moors or over the stubbles, and spore, as repre- sented by batras-shooting, as there is between tiger hunting in India and slaughtering pigs in Yorkshire. At the meeting of the Chamber of Agriculture on the 17th May, 1365, to which we have alluded, Mr. Shepherd, who opposed the discussion, stated that I partridges, and even pheasants, though by far the worst of the two, do not work a tithe of the mischief which harea and rabbits occasion. Indeed,' said he, there is no doubt that crows and wood pigeons give more trouble, and cause more loss, than pheasants and partridges.' Mr. M'Combie was willing to assist his landlords in preserving on their estates a moderate number o! hares, grouse, and partridges.' Mr. Bethune, of Blebo, considered 'that- the preservation of hares and rabbits was the great source of the evii;' while the ahairman, Mr. Hope Fentonbains, wound up the dis- oussipn by stating his belief that if the hares and rabbits were dropped ont of the game list, it would Send very much to diminish the sufferings of farmers. He considered partridges harmless birds, and as to pheasants,' he said, 'they rarely stray from the vicinity of the preserves in which they are reared like poultry, end farmers know what they may expect when they take farms in such situations.' It is different, however, with hares. They increase with- out trouble and expense, if simply left alone., They; travel miles for their food, and no man is safe from thair depredations, where verhia farm may be situated.' As for rabbits, Mr. Hope set them down at once as unmitigated vermin;' and he added that it might be quite satisfactory to them, as farmers, to have only haros end rabbits removed from the game list.' While such are the views held by the representa- tive body of tha tenant-farmers of Scotland, we find numerous instances in which proprietors have freely accorded permission to their tenants to kill hares and rabbits on their farms, the result being that more hares are to be found on such farms, whenever the landlord wishes a day's sport for himself or his friencs, than could be obtained even under the strictest system of prc-sarvation by keepers. There can be little doubt, therefore, that Sir William Stirling-Mas well's bill mast be well received, unless by those holdieg extreme views on both sides of the question. Over-preservers cf game, who preserve not for 'the purpose of sport, bus as a source of double profit, will doubtless look upon the bill as an infringe- ment on their privileges, while there may be some who "will not consider it sufficient to meet their views. Extremes, it is said, do sometimes meet, but it would be hopelsss to expect that such would happen in this case; and if men or moderate views, whether proprie- tora or tenants, are satisfied with it, there is every season to expect that the passing of this bill will eradiaate the bitterness which has existed in connec- tion with the preservation of game, and which has -done much to foster antagonistio feelings between the parties concerned in it. There is, however one point which ought not to be overlooked in considering the game question, with re- latisn to its operation in the case of farmers, and any Btepa that may be taken to relieve them from griev- ances arising out of it. This ia the agreement which is frequently voluntarily entered into by tenants, not only to protect game, including rabbits, but also renouncing all olaims on the proprietor for damage to crops from that carsss, 'notwithstanding any law being passed to the contrary.' Now, any agreement of this kind is a special contract, which a man enters into with his eyes open. It may be a hard bargain, but that is his concern, just as in any other matter of business. Like buying an unsound horse with all his faults, and without a power to return, he takes the farm with all its burdens, and must stick to his bargain. But having voluntarily put himself beyond the protection of the law, he has no right to come forward and complain of his posi- tion, or ask for a manifestation of public sympathy on his behalf. No? have trading agitators any right to make capital out of such a man's case. He has, perhaps, mads a foolish agreement, but if so, he ciasfe bear the consequences. Foolish agree- j scents are made evary day in other trades and pro- fessions, but we do not find those transactions brought to Hght und, aired' for the purpose of exciting sym- pathy for tho33 who have suffered in consequence of their own indiscretion. People gtmerally wish to keep each things as quiet as possible, whereas the man who voluntarily contracts '—aa Mr. Curror defined the matter at the meeting of the Chamber of Agriculture —-5 to feed and preserve hia neighbour's poultry or wild fowl,' wild beasts or vermin, without any com- pensation for the same, seems to take pleasure in taliiv,g t.ho world what a fool he has baen." a-





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