IoS letters, emails & online postings (25 November 2012)

Share

It's time for the Prime Minister to stop clowning around and end the use and abuse of wild animals in British circuses ("Circuses blow their top at lion licensing plan", 18 November). The public wants an outright ban – as evidenced by the 2011 Defra consultation in which 94 per cent of respondents backed an end to this archaic form of entertainment.

Despite having been instructed by Parliament in 2011 to end this cruelty, the Government is pressing ahead with its ill-conceived inspection and licensing regime, which will do nothing to protect animals in circuses from the routine abuse they face, and will merely prolong their suffering.

In the 21st century, it is unacceptable for wild animals to be denied everything that is natural and important to them, confined to cages or boxcars, dragged around the country and forced to perform demeaning and often painful tricks for human amusement. Every animal protection group is calling for a ban, and the British Veterinary Association has made it clear that the welfare needs of wild animals cannot be met within a circus environment. Wild animals in circuses commonly suffer from chronic health problems, abusive treatment, psychological disorders and aberrant behaviour, and many die prematurely.

For the sake of the animals, the show must not go on.

Ben Williamson

Press officer, Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), London N1

With regard to the article "Oxford erupts in Battle of the Bod" (18 November). Much whinging has been heard over the past few years concerning the Bodleian Library's need to move over seven million books to a new storage site in Swindon.

What the academic world fails to understand is that storing millions of books takes up a LOT of room. Swindon is not in Swaziland and the Bodleian now offers a perfectly acceptable service delivering requested books from Swindon to Oxford twice a day.

I am employed on the administration side of an Oxford college and have yet to hear any one of our hundreds of students complain about the above changes or the service provided.

The issue here is "change", and the world of academia (in Oxford at any rate) is very reactive to change of any kind.

However, I have yet to hear how it would solve the practical problem of storing millions of books in a dry, spacious, accessible area for many years to come.

F Nichols

Oxford

Robin Lane Fox is not alone in objecting to the changes at the Bodleian Library. While aspiring to make more of Oxford's collections available on open shelves is commendable, the advantages this might have afforded have been utterly vitiated by classifying the books by size and acquisition date. Readers might conceivably want to browse among books on a particular subject; but they are hardly likely to find themselves seeking out big books purchased in, say, September 1990. One of Oxford's most valued amenities is being compromised.

William Kelley

St John's College, Oxford

Several key people, including the Chancellor, seem convinced that shale gas, obtained by fracking, offers benefits in terms of climate change. ("Fracking: A new dawn for misplaced optimism", 18 November). Large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, are released during the fracking process. Unless these fugitive emissions are kept below 2 per cent, and they are currently running at between 7 and 10 per cent, shale gas is no more climate friendly than is coal.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

I read Moyra Jean's letter (18 November) and agree wholeheartedly. I looked forward to reading about both the Women's and Men's performances at the Cycling Track Championships but there was no coverage. The picture of Laura Trott accompanied an article about the Tour de France in the UK; a race which is for men. I had hoped that the Olympics would bring about a change in sports reporting, with coverage of women's and minority sports improving. Unfortunately, my hopes are fading.

Rosslyn Hamlyn

Peterborough

So they've found a Stone Age home dated to "the Mesolithic period around 10,252 years ago." Couldn't you try to be a little more precise?

Sara Neill

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2012/November/25

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lead Application Developer

£80000 - £90000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am current...

Year 3 Welsh Teacher vacancy in Penarth

£110 - £120 per day + Travel Scheme and Free training: Randstad Education Card...

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A destroyed UN vehicle is seen in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on July 29, 2014 following Israeli military strikes.  

Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza

Yara Hawari
Prime Minister David Cameron walks on stage to speak at The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on November 4, 2013  

Does Cameron really believe in 'British Values'?

Temi Ogunye
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz