Long-term solution to bile farms
I feel sorry for those poor animals suffering in unsupervised bear bile farms.
A lot of these farms perform inhumane procedures in order to obtain more bile for profits. Such procedures endanger the bears' lives.
I think we need to aim for long- and short-term solutions.
Owners of farms which are found to have broken the relevant mainland laws should face heavy fines and this can act as a deterrent. The central government should set up a special group to monitor the operations of all bear farms. However, in the long-term, education is clearly the best solution. People must be made more aware of the cruelty behind the bear bile extraction process.
Documentaries should be aired on mainland television to raise levels of awareness.
The relevant non-governmental organisations could launch campaigns encouraging citizens to show respect for animals.
As more people recognise the importance of animal rights, demand for bile products will drop and the unregulated farms will hopefully go out of business.
Workers on these farms should also be monitored so that they carry out the proper procedures, which does not happen on unregulated farms.
They must try and prevent the bears from suffering. This is an issue which should be addressed by the whole of society.
Ki Ki Chu Yuen-tung, Tsuen Wan
Substitute drugs can end suffering
That bear bile farming is allowed to prosper is a crime against nature.
Educated people on the mainland are waking up to the fact that animals have rights too, and that they are prepared to actively support their beliefs by expressing strong opposition to the listing of a bear bile producer on the ChiNext stock exchange is admirable ('Bear-bile showdown, it's kill or cure', February 25).
Hopefully, the central government will approve the sale of substitute drugs in the very near future and deal a death blow to bear farm operators both legal and illegal.
Bear bile farming is all about the pursuit of profit. If there was no money in it, this heinous practice would have died out already.
That bear bile has been a cherished traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years is not debatable; it is now time to stop the practice in the name of progress.
Deliberate cruelty is not and never should have been acceptable.
Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin
Distorting HK's unique history
We are used to the unique perspective of Lau Nai-keung, but his final paragraph in the article ('HKU will lose way without moral compass', February 17) cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.
Lau is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong, as was Sun Yat-sen, who said of his time there that it was his 'intellectual birthplace'. There the similarity would seem to end.
At the end of his article, seemingly out of all context, Lau states: 'Divorced from national suffering, history and humiliation since the opium war, there is no Hong Kong history, and subsequently there is no soul or salvation.'
This is insulting to every resident of Hong Kong, especially those who found refuge here as the Communist Party juggernaut crushed the life out of millions through state-sponsored starvation and cultural suicide via the Cultural Revolution.
During these torrid times in China, Hongkongers who had escaped here sought every means possible to help their kith and kin across the border.
So I would like to rewrite Lau's last paragraph to represent the truth: 'Divorced from national suffering, history and humiliation, Hong Kong thrived, and its subsequent history saw generations, through hard work in a safe environment, find salvation and create a unique Chinese culture with its own soul.'
Kevin McBarron, Central
Remove this pathetic eyesore
I agree with John Johnston ('End Occupy Central protest', February 21).
I was at the ground floor of the HSBC headquarters one morning midweek and took a close look at the Occupy Central protest located there.
All I saw was a lot of old tents surrounded by a lot of rubbish and torn/faded signs. No protesters were in attendance.
This pathetic eyesore is now an environmental hazard and should be removed.
Ian Wilson, Mount Butler
Waste charge a vital green initiative
The government should impose waste disposal charges in Hong Kong and it should use the revenue it gains to promote environmental issues.
It is important to change the public perception so that people come to see this as a normal daily payment.
There is an urgent need to deal with the problem of municipal waste in a city like Hong Kong which has a large population and only limited landfill space.
Also, we still do not have an incinerator to deal with the tonnes of waste generated every day.
Too many people ignore the importance of trying to reduce the amount of refuse they generate.
The waste charge will be a wake-up call and encourage them to lead more eco-friendly lives.
The government can use the revenue to help companies adopt greener initiatives.
A green business needs to spend money on new technology and faces higher costs.
As I said, this charge system can help to transform the way citizens think about the disposal of refuse and enable a change of mindset.
The government has to come up with the right kind of policy and I believe that a quantity-based waste charging system is the fairest, although it must be adaptable and take account of special cases.
Liu Siting, Clear Water Bay
Illegal path still in country park
I refer to the report ('Socialite's widow in Sai Kung land dispute', February 7) about illegal widening of a path in Ma On Shan Country Park.
The work on the path is now finished and it is wide enough to allow large vehicles to pass.
Also, the brick construction is still there.
It seems once again that the government is unable to protect the country parks from these sort of illegal activities carried out by people who are bold enough and who think they can do what they like.
Alfred Beckers, Sai Kung