Readers’ letters - July 27

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Avoid factory farm meat – look for higher welfare

The demand for humanely raised pork is rising steadily as people become aware of and disgusted by the appalling cruelty, the reckless overuse of antibiotics in factory pig farms and the intolerable toxic stench suffered by people unfortunate enough to live near one of the 800 mega farms in the UK.

As awareness grows, 40 per cent of sows in the UK live permanently outdoors – a fact conveniently ignored by industrial farming lobbyist Zoe Davis, from the National Pig Association, when she stated: “There aren’t many producers that farm pigs outdoors because there’s not a huge demand”.

The reader can help bring an end to this onslaught of cruelty and blight on local villagers’ lives by not buying the meat from these factory livestock farms. They can look for a high animal welfare label on the meat. For pigs, that is RSPCA Assured, Outdoor Bred, Free Range and, best of all, Organic. To help understand why this meat tastes better, look no further than FarmsNotFactories website where famous chefs and foodies explain why they would only ever serve or recommend meat from high animal welfare farms.

Yes, it is more expensive at the till but not if the true cost is internalised into a true cost analysis that looks at the antibiotics that have to be given to factory farm animals to stave off disease found in the barren concrete pens that the animals are crammed into.

Antibiotic-resistant diseases, that breed in the overcrowded sheds, reaches the neighbouring community and beyond via the meat. It brings us all ever closer to the day when antibiotics won’t work to cure basic human diseases. A recent survey found antibiotic-resistant E.coli on 63 per cent of factory farmed pork in UK supermarkets.

To spread the cost of buying high welfare, eat less but better meat and avoid diseases related to overeating meat like obesity, heart disease and colon cancer.

Tracy Worcester

via email

Common sense is being ignored

At a time when our

national deficit is still rising – last month borrowing an eye-watering £6.9bn – the Government has committed to increased spending on healthcare, defence and overseas aid.

Yet it beggars belief that the Government has also committed to building HS2, the high-speed railway that is set to link London with the northern cities.

The costs so far amount to £2.3bn, without a single piece of track being laid. It was first estimated it would cost just over £37bn but that has since risen to £55.7bn and, knowing how Government projects run, that sum is set to rise dramatically.

A report commissioned by the Department of Transport puts the cost for the whole track at a massive £104bn, which equates to £400m for every mile, making it the world’s most expensive railway. Furthermore, apart from the disruption that it will cause to people’s lives, business and the countryside, it will never recoup its costs.

Apart from being outdated (there is a suggestion that travelling times from Washington to New York will take 29 minutes by frictionless trains), the stations will be moved to new locations, which will add to journey times rather than save time.

Yet despite ignoring protests and any form of common sense, the Government will keep pouring and wasting vast amounts of taxpayers’ money on this white-elephant project instead of improving and upgrading the existing rail network which would benefit the passengers without spending an obscene amount of money.

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)

School safety comes first

A woman in London who wears the full burka is now taking her child’s school to court as, quite rightly, they have asked her to remove the veil on school premises.

For me, it’s a no-brainer, the teachers need to know it’s the child’s mother. Schools are hopefully places of safety, they need to know who is on the premises.

She’s threatening legal action now as it’s discrimination against burka wearers. No, it’s just common sense. When was the last time you could wear a balaclava or motorbike helmet in the bank?

Jayne Grayson

via email