Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines.
Dear Ed, – I would just like to warn local cat owners about a practice that has the potential to cause injury to cats.
Our neighbours have recently rebuilt the fence between us and they feed the birds alongside this fence.
I have two cats who wear collars with a bell when out to reduce the risk of them injuring or killing birds, and there are several other local cats in the area who are attracted to the large flocks of birds that go to feed there.
I was appalled to notice that they have put double layers of spiked railings along the top of the fence so as to prevent cats from climbing on top of the fence.
This practice has been cited as cruelty to animals by the RSPCA and could cause injury and possible infections to any cats who jump up onto the fence.
This practice is also dangerous to young children who may climb fences when playing. During the recent strong winds, we had a tree blown down and when clearing this a friend injured his hands when he put them on the fence, unaware of the spikes, when bracing himself to lift the tree.
The injury was extremely painful for him but a child or animal could suffer much worse. I am not sure where the law stands in this situation but I plan to look into it.
I believe this practice to be cruelty to animals and believe there are many other options for keeping cats away without resorting to such cruel methods.
I do not know how common the practice is but I would like to warn cat owners to be aware of this potential injury to their pets. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – So it goes on! The “call in” must wait. The Planning Minister’s delay in calling in the planning proposal, 15/01/2014, means at least another month of no action. Procrastination would appear to be the name of the game. This can only serve to exacerbate the situation. Are we to see a repeat of the irrecoverable heritage damage perpetrated in the 1960s through lack of vision? Since Historic Scotland’s failure to lodge an objection and its statement, 13/02/2013, that the proposal “warranted no objection” this proposal has been dogged bypragmatism, pusillanimity and incompetence. At risk is not only our legacy to future generations but our honour as a nation. Are we to be seen as a nation that cannot be trusted to honour our obligations? – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – Holocaust Memorial Day, on January 27, is an opportunity for us all to remember the millions murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. The number of people involved in the day grows every single year, with individuals and groups across the UK coming together to pause and reflect not only on the past, but on its lessons for the future.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda. As a nation, we must all share responsibility for maintaining the memory of these atrocities, to make sure they can never happen again.
From prisons in Leeds to football clubs in London, this year Holocaust Memorial Day will be marked at over 2,000 events. I would urge everyone to find out what will be happening in their community and to take part. Visit www.hmd.org.uk for more details. – Yours etc.,
Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
Dear Ed, Animal lovers in Lanarkshire are being invited to experience a once in a lifetime adventure while raising funds for the Scottish SPCA. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking the Inca Trail in Peru or cycling from London to Paris are among some of the exciting trips on offer. Peter Fleming, manager of the Scottish SPCA’s Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, said: “It’s that time of year when many people are looking for a new challenge and this is a fantastic way to help local animals while doing something incredible. There are over 30 trips to choose from and they cater for all abilities, from moderate challenges to extreme adventures. Events take place in some of the most beautiful parts of the world, including Africa, China and India. New for this year is a trek through remote Madagascar, where animal lovers raising funds will get the chance to see some of the local wildlife such as lemurs in their natural habitat. There are also plenty of challenges for those wishing to stay closer to home, from a hike up Ben Nevis to a Land’s End to John O’ Groat’s cycle. “It’s a great way for people to travel somewhere they’ve never been before while making a real difference to the lives of abused, abandoned and injured animals in the local area. “While there’s a registration fee for all the trips as well as a minimum fundraising target, we’ll do everything we can to help our supporters meet their goal.
“We’d love to hear from anyone interested in taking on one of these exciting challenges and we’ve no doubt that those who sign up will never forget their experience.”
Anyone interested in taking part is being invited to call the Scottish SPCA fundraising team on 03000 999 999 (option four) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – As we all struggle to maintain our new year’s resolutions to get fit in 2014, I thought I’d share news of a fantastic event being organised for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The ‘maRAFon’ will see elderly, injured and disabled RAF veterans and their families, friends and supporters, including myself, running, walking or rolling their own distance, to be collected into a single grand total over the Easter weekend (April 18-21).
If like me you watch the London Marathon every year and think ‘that looks amazing’ but aren’t as fit as you’d like to be, the maRAFon is for you. You can do it wherever you like, however you like – in groups, or individually, on a treadmill, on the way to work, or in the park. It’s a great way for young and old, disabled and able-bodied, fit and unfit to come together and have fun while raising money to support those who give, or have given, service to this country.
Grab your sports bag and sign up at www.rafbf.org/marafon. – Yours etc
SIR TERRY WOGAN.
Dear Ed, – Have you a New Year’s resolution to be more active that you’re struggling to keep?
How about joining the Lanarkshire Loch Walkathon with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland for a bit of extra motivation?
Taking place on the morning of Sunday, March 2, the Walkathon is a 5K sponsored walk around the picturesque loch within the James Hamilton Heritage Park, East Kilbride. The Walkathon has been a great success the last two years and we hope it’s become a welcome annual fixture in the local walking calendar.
The event is suitable for all ages and fitness levels: wheelchair users, buggies - even the dog is welcome! You can also help us fund the wide range of services we provide in Lanarkshire - from stroke groups to stroke nurses, advice line to medical research - by signing up for the walk (£10 for adults, £5 for young people 5 - 17, under 5s free).
We hope participants will raise what they can to support our work and all walkers will receive a medal.
Register online at www.scotlandwalkathon.com or by emailing email@example.com, or phone 0300 1212 666, – Yours etc,