LETTERS: `Smugness' of the Shoreham rabble-rousers

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From Mr John Charman Sir: If the animal rights demonstrators at Shoreham are successful in stopping the export of live animals from this country, they will have achieved nothing, except for the smug satisfaction that Britain takes no part in such an obnoxious trade. In fact

, such a "success" would be counter-productive because the trade would continue, supplied by other sources and the subject would cease to be an issue in this country.

It would be far better to tackle the disease by trying to change the law in the countries which import the animals so that the demand is removed.

All the evidence from past and present campaigns - slavery, prohibition in the US, drugs, slaughter of wild animals such as tigers and rhinoceros - proves that little is achieved by trying to stop supply. It is only when the demand is removed that a practice ends, which is why the oldest profession in the world still has a long future ahead of it, despite repeated attempts to stop the supply.

Yours sincerely, JOHN CHARMAN London, SW1

5 January