Crack down on breeding farms
I am angry at the snail's pace of legislation to ban the private farms which breed animals to supply pet shops.
The current legislation is clearly inadequate and Hong Kong has an oversupply of these sad creatures, whose end, like their life, is tragic, and whose life-long distress and pain is easily preventable.
The fines meted out to those who are caught are derisory. The policing even of current boundaries between use and abuse of animals is pathetic due to a lack of political will.
How much evidence does this government require before those who treat animal life with utter distain are punished as the criminals their actions make them to be?
This administration and the police that serve the people of Hong Kong have access to superb technology.
The surveillance of the New Territories for pet farms should be as simple as mapping for Google maps.
No part of this area of Hong Kong should be available to these exploiters.
There should be no room for excuses about how difficult it is to find these hell-holes.
Once caught, the law needs to slam down hard on them, or it is no deterrent at all.
Not to prevent this suffering is to condone it and that makes barbarians of us all.
Liz Gower, Lamma
Scheme will help police curb cruelty
I welcome the introduction of the Animal Watch Scheme by the police.
It is designed to help officers deal more effectively with animal abuse cases. As part of the scheme, a veterinary forensic expert will hold a one-week workshop on investigative skills.
This new scheme is important because police have not done well when it comes to combating animal abuse.
Officers will be given training to help them determine whether an animal's injury was an accident or caused by a person.
I would also suggest that the government should organise educational talks for the public. This could help raise awareness about the problem of animal abuse and encourage people to take good care of their pets.
They also need to realise that a lot of things have to be considered before buying a pet.
People have to look at their budgets and decide if they can afford to buy the animal and find the time to give it the regular exercise that it needs.
Individuals need to ask themselves if they can deal with the responsibility of looking after an animal and if they have sufficient space at home.
Angel Ng Kar-bo, Tsim Sha Shui
Make school buses safer for pupils
I refer to the report ('Demand for bus safety after Gansu crash', November 18).
In an accident in Gansu province on November 16, a bus crashed into a coal truck, killing 19 kindergarten children. The van being used as a bus, which was designed to carry eight passengers, had 62 children on board.
It is difficult to believe that 62 children had to stand in a small space to get to their kindergarten. I appreciate the motivation was to save money, but this was done at a terrible cost as lives were lost. The central government and local school authorities must take appropriate action.
Beijing should realise that schools in poorer parts of the country are badly in need of more financial help. They require more support than the coastal areas. Economic development in those areas further removed from the coast is slower.
If there was more central government support, the school authorities would have sufficient funds to rent more buses and provide safer journeys for the children.
The school authorities in this part of Gansu must have been aware of the risks involved in putting so many children into a small van. They need to focus on the importance of providing safe modes of transport for schoolchildren.
When something like this happens, it hurts China's international image. It is one of the social problems that Beijing has to address and deal with effectively.
Kelvin Chan, Tsuen Wan
Skewed view of Western nations
I refer to Eric X. Li's article ('Time to upgrade', November 5). I accept his criticisms regarding economic mismanagement in the West. However, when it comes to his political arguments, Mr Li is guilty of selective reasoning and oversimplification.
He mentions Iraq and Afghanistan, presumably to remind readers of the folly of interventionism. But, he does not mention the success of the Nato operation in Libya, where the international community supported the will of the people. Awkwardly for China, the mission was backed by a number of Middle Eastern states, dismissing the notion that interventionism is some kind of Western imperialist conspiracy.
Neither does Mr Li mention the Arab spring, where millions of people across the Middle East demanded not China's model of 'meritocratic perpetuation' but, rather, the right to choose their own rulers. China's domestic response, which included the ramping up of internet censorship, indicates a perplexing level of insecurity for a regime that supposedly enjoys the overwhelming support of the people. If China is so confident in its model of one-party rule, as Mr Li supposes, why were its leaders so nervous about how its people would respond to a popular movement for democracy?
China's 'Globalisation 2.0' model, as Mr Li calls it, heralds a disturbing future for our world. Following this model would encourage governments to ignore suffering in other countries and allow them to repress their own dissidents with impunity. More worryingly, as China has shown in its dealings with Sudan, Myanmar and North Korea, blind adherence to the 'national interest' in foreign policy permits the financial backing of dictatorships that have proved incapable of meeting the basic needs of their people.
Would a world under 'Globalisation 2.0' really be a better place?
James Chan, Mid-Levels
Parents are important role models
A video appeared on YouTube of a young boy yelling at his parents and using foul language.
It is not good for a society when children are spoiled and misbehave.
There are things that can be done to stop primary school children using this kind of language.
Other family members can lead by example by not swearing in front of children at home.
The media can also exert an influence and media organisations must think carefully about the kind of language used in publications designed for younger readers.
Young people must learn as they are growing up that they will be judged on first impressions and their behaviour is therefore very important.
Janice Lo Yee-yung, Hung Hom