Readers’ letters - July 29

Ensure your food choices are not supporting suffering  says an animal welfare organisation
Ensure your food choices are not supporting suffering says an animal welfare organisation

Go vegan and stop suffering

The Government has this week released details of on-farm inspections from 2015, and they make depressing reading. Of the hundreds of thousands of animal farms across Great Britain, just 1,681 were inspected throughout the whole year.

Pigs and ‘broiler’ chickens appear to be among the least inspected species, despite being the most intensively farmed.

Animal Aid has conducted dozens of on-farm inspections over the past decade and found appalling suffering in every pig and chicken farm we have visited. Sows are still confined inside farrowing crates, suffer greatly from untreated injuries, and live all too often in filth and without any meaningful enrichment. Chickens are still packed into sheds without daylight or fresh air.

For a nation of animal lovers, their treatment is a scandal. But so, too, is the paucity of official inspections.

Please ensure your food choices are not supporting this suffering. Order a free Go Vegan pack by visiting or phoning 01732 364 546.

Isobel Hutchinson

Head of Campaigns

Animal Aid


Avoid serial referendums

There are still a few people calling for another referendum on our EU membership and one on Scotland’s membership of the UK.

What, short of the passage of a quarter of a century and the emergence of new generation and a new situation, could render this acceptable?

We most emphatically need to avoid falling into such models as “We’ll keep on asking you until you get the answer right” and “democracy is like a tram – you ride it until it takes you where you want to go and then get off.”

What was designed, sold and accepted as a definitive one-off test cannot credibly be replaced by another one-off test. Only one referendum on a given question can be a one-off.

To try repeating it would be either to grant a privileged position to the losing side or to usher in serial referendums in perpetuity.

The latter option is perhaps slightly less daunting if we consider holding our EU referendums on General Election days and our Scottish independence referendums on Scottish Parliamentary Election days, so we are not subjected to additional periods of campaigning for these.

We might want to require two consecutive wins to produce a change. One might argue that such a system would be preferable to one in which our referendum decisions are considered subordinate to the mandate of a new Government gained through a General Election. Such elections can be won on 37 per cent of a smaller turnout, giving greater potential for flip-flopping in and out.

On either approach, an early attempt at re-entry is liable only to mire us in prolonged indecision.

JG Riseley,

Address supplied


Politicans: Be responsible 

We are told a debate is to be held to discuss a petition for a second referendum. This would be like bolting the stable door after the EU horse has bolted. I take the view that in complicated questions such as our relations with Europe, a special responsibility rests on politicians to steer us in the right direction.

Don Burslam,

Address supplied