Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Chief Executive of the Kennel Club, Roger French (Right of Reply, 10 August), seems to be labouring under the impression that the Continent is awash with alien animal diseases. My dog, now 13, lived for four years in France and, from there, travelled widely in Europe without contracting any of the ailments that he claims threaten our national wellbeing.

ALASTAIR NEWTON

Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Sir: Your headline "Church ban on GM crop trials" (4 August) is wrong. Neither the Church of England's Ethical Investment Working Group nor the Church Commissioners have yet come to a decision on using land for such trials. The Church understands the complexity of the issues surrounding the growing of GM crops for research purposes and requires a period of deliberation and reflection before expressing a view. It will not make a hasty decision. Nor is it avoiding this difficult issue.

ANTONY S HARDY

Secretary to the Church of England Ethical Investment Working Group

London SW1

Sir: The words below the picture of bob-a-jobbing Boy Scouts (9 August) said that they and today's teenage paperboys "have endangered their mathematical skills by doing part-time work while at school." But Bob-a-Job took place for just one week each year - and that was during the school holidays. It cannot be likened to regular work done by teenagers.

KATE ALLAN

Stockton Heath, Cheshire

Sir: Let us by all means be considerate of animals, but can we find an alternative to replace the emotive and inaccurate term "animal rights"? Peter Allen's letter (10 August), exposes the fallacy of the concept, referring to "any rights we humans deign to bestow". Exactly. Without humans choosing to be compassionate, there are no innate rights. And "the right to live in as normal an environment as possible and to express their natural behaviour" condemns them to eat or be eaten. Some rights!

K W JOY

Kenilworth, Warwickshire

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