Readers’ letters - April 6

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Cruel and unnecessary Grand National should be banned

The Grand National takes place on Saturday.

Since 2000, 28 horses have died on the Grand National Course and, over the course of the three-day meeting, 47 horses have died in that same period.

The Grand National is the longest horse race in this country.

On average, fewer than 40 per cent of horses finish the race and some have been unable to race again or have died later from their exertions.

On top of this, jockeys are allowed to whip their mounts to encourage them to go faster.

No other branch of animal welfare allows animals to be beaten in the name of sport.

It is time to put pressure on race organisers and politicians to ban the Grand National, as well as use of the whip by jockeys.

We can help by refusing to bet on this event, or on any other race, until radical changes are made to this cruel and unnecessary spectacle of horse racing.

Kevin Marsden

via email

Stop telling us what to eat

I am writing this letter because I am fed up of these people who are telling us what we should or should not eat and drink.

The latest is about children eating sugary food.

This is the umpteenth time that this subject has come to light because, if the public notices, all these things are going around in a circle.

The silly thing is that this year a certain product is “bad for you” but when it is time for the product to come around again, some expert will be saying that it is now good for you (in moderation).

I was born in 1952 and things were still on ration after the war so there was not the food available like it is now.

But the food which was available was good and not the sterilised pre-packed plastic rubbish which is filling the supermarket shelves nowadays.

The trouble now is that the public hasn’t much choice but to buy it.

I have just bought a new bread machine because now the boffins have suggested that, as salt and sugar should no longer be put into bread, it is no longer fit to eat (in my opinion).

I do not drink stout because after three pints of the good Irish brew it makes my nose bleed but I don’t expect that everybody should stop drinking it.

Each person should have their own choice of what they do and do not eat or drink without listening to these so-called experts.

John Dyson

Address supplied

Experience or qualifications

I firmly believe that nurses should start “on the job” and see if they really want to look after patients.

Degrees are all very well but they do not establish a good beside manner and the empathy with a patient.

Young doctors train for five years, dealing only with patients at a very basic level initially while studying.

Nurses always did the same, and those wanting to have more responsibility were able to progress to do this with all the practical experience that enabled them to train student nurses and understand the difficulties they may encounter. Sometimes, insisting on paper qualifications is no substitute for practical experience.

Hilary Andrews

via email