THE JOKEY comments in relation to the photograph in Captain Moonlight's column (28 March) of the sheep aboard a scooter were in bad taste. The sheep is destined for slaughter at the religious festival of Eid-el-Kabir. Sheep are slaughtered in Halal fashion, that is, without prior stunning. However, at this festival any male, not someone trained in Halal slaughter methods, is entitled to kill a sheep. The unnecessary suffering of these animals is unthinkable. If both carotid arteries are severed with one stroke of the knife, the animal will lose brain responsiveness in approximately 14 seconds. With killing by untrained people the chances are that more than one cut with the blade will be required. Research studies at the University of Bristol have shown that a sheep will take five times longer to lose brain responsiveness at the hands of an untrained slaughterman, and if only the jugular vein is severed, it can take five minutes to lose brain responsiveness. This means, of course, pain and distress. Shame on you, Captain Moonlight!