Readers’ letters - June 12

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RSPCA continues its fight against animal cruelty

The week (June 12-18) is RSPCA Week, when we celebrate 193 years of helping animals most in need.

This year is particularly special as it marks 10 years since the Animal Welfare Act came into force and our 160 branches will be marking this milestone with some of their own achievements.

Since this landmark law was passed, the RSPCA has helped more than 3.6 million animals across England and Wales and, during that same period, branches across England and Wales have rehomed more than 444,000 animals, microchipped more than 335,000 animals, neutered more than 480,000 and helped towards more than 891,000 vet treatments for poorly animals whose owners were struggling to meet the costs.

Our branches do an amazing job, whether it’s fundraising, helping poorly animals through our clinics or finding homes for those animals who have often been through the most appalling neglect and abuse.

All of this is possible thanks to the hard work of volunteers and generous donations from local people.

This RSPCA Week, I want to take the opportunity to thank them.

Last year there were nearly 150,000 complaints of cruelty across England and Wales, which shows there is still a real need for the work we do.

To find out more about your local RSPCA branch and what you can do to support us, visit

Jeremy Cooper


Political integrity should matter

Achieving power in this month of June brings with it not just tenure in Downing Street but great responsibilities.

Here in the UK, over centuries of hard won battles for democracy, we have much to be proud of and much at stake to lose.

Whatever party holds the reins of Great Britain should remember this and honour, by their actions, the sacrifices that women and men have made that allows them to sit in their House of Westminster seats as elected representatives of the people.

We have much to celebrate that should not be dismantled: our nurseries and schools; our colleges and universities; our NHS; our free press; our police, fire and other emergency services to name but a few of these fabulous services that makes our Britain stand out amongst nations

Daily, our public servants, public authority workers and those in the charity and voluntary sectors go about their business underpinning the infrastructure of our society, improving people’s lives.

They and we all deserve to have these integral provisions protected, maintained and further developed for. Without them, the vast majority of us, outside of the highest earners, would be at a loss and our society and nation would be a poorer place.

Too often in the drive to secure cuts, we heard our hardworking medical staff, teachers, police officers etc being berated and misrepresented in regard to the sterling work they do by those seeking to justify reductions in resources by so-called ‘efficiency’ savings.

We have also had times where some politicians have promised the world during an election but, when these promises have come to be translated into reality, they have faded away.

No excuses for misleading us are given but rather we are told “everyone misleads in seeking votes, that’s just how it is. What matters is going forward from here, that’s all that matters”.

Integrity in politics should always matter and carrying through on promises to sustain and protect our public services matter, not only because we, the electorate, deserve better but because it’s the right thing to do. Politicians need empathy and compassion in all they do, building vital unity and strengthening community cohesion in the challenging times to come.

Patrick Meleady

via email