Letters to the Editor, September 24, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 12:17am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 September, 2016, 12:17am

Stop buying to end mindless poaching

I am writing about a matter that deeply worries me and thousands of others globally – the comprehensive, ­completely meaningless poaching going on, especially in Africa.

Thousands of innocent ­animals – especially elephants, rhinos and tigers – are killed to satisfy Chinese consumers’ “need” for ivory, powdered ­rhino horn and powdered tiger teeth, merely to feed their superstitions. It is outrageous and triggering an enormous disaster.

These animals have for a very long time been in danger of being exterminated because of unscrupulous poachers. All that matters to them is money.

As long as Chinese consumers do not understand that they, with their superstition and greed, are exterminating these majestic animals, especially from Africa, as long as they do not care if wild animals live or die – so long will the meaningless, massive poaching in Africa and elsewhere continue.

Only if they stop buying ivory and horns from wild animals will poaching cease to exist.

Karin Sorensen, Galten, Denmark

Home market bans will strike at ivory trade

I refer to the article (“International vote means ivory trading may soon be extinct”, ­September 12). In order to stop the killing of elephants for their tusks, world governments have voted to urge the closure of all domestic ivory markets.

This came at the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, which was a 10-day meeting that drew a lot of people to Hawaii.

The only way to stop the ivory trade at the international level is to ban all illegal imports, exports and domestic markets, and it needs governments all over the world to cooperate.

There is an annual decline of 8 per cent in the population of African elephants, who are mainly hunted for ivory. I couldn’t agree more that “the shutting down of domestic ivory markets will send a clear signal to traffickers and organised criminal syndicates that ivory is worthless and will no longer support their criminal activities causing security problems in ­local communities and wiping out wildlife”.

Domestic ivory markets must be shut down. Animals must not live to be hunted, used as decoration, or put on sale.

Chantel Cheung, Tseung Kwan O

Future dire for sharks as old tastes linger

I am writing in response to the article (“Why appetite for shark fin continues to grow despite ­efforts to stem the slaughter”, September 20). Hong Kong is a known shark fin trading centre, and I would like to express my views about it.

According to my own observations, many of the younger generation nowadays are aware of the dangerous situation sharks are in and starting to refuse shark’s fin dishes.

However, the older generation with its traditional values is not willing to accept not having shark’s fin on feast tables, especially during festivals or special occasions. Thus, the situation is most likely to get better only in the future.

However, the situation sharks are facing is dire and they are running out of time. Governments and shipment companies such as FedEx should join the effort to save the species.

Caroline Wong Tin-ching, Kwai Chung

UN speech shows Obama out of touch

Convinced as ever of his rectitude if no longer of his power to persuade, US President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the last time as America’s chief.

His speech was a hodgepodge of fallacious reasoning, extending in expanding concentric circles from a core misbelief about the genesis of Islamist ­terror to self-congratulatory ­encomiums for policies which weaken the West while strengthening our adversaries, such as the Iran nuclear agreement and the normalisation of relations with Cuba.

I know from discussions with his fan base that Mr Obama can do little wrong. I trust that his international audience is more discerning.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Education best way to boost organ donation

I am writing to express my views on the secondary teaching ­material developed by the Hong Kong Organ Transplant Foundation.

First of all, the donation rate in Hong Kong is low because of superficial knowledge about ­organ donation. People think donation may have negative health effects or simply do not know how to register as a donor.

Education is the best way to inform young minds about the significance and advantages of organ donation. I believe ­students can get a deep understanding of the advantages and procedure of organ donation through learning from the materials and class discussions.

They will know how to register as a donor, and that becoming a donor would have little or no effect on their health. They will also know they are ­making a life-changing decision. After ­getting a deeper understanding of organ donation, the young will become more willing to be ­donors. That way, the donation rate will ­increase.

Secondly, the donation rate in Hong Kong has remained low because of Chinese traditional beliefs about keeping the body intact after death.

To change this belief, ­perspectives from religions ­including Protestantism, Catholicism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Islam have been included in the teaching materials, with leaders of all faiths ­making positive ­comments on organ donation.

Wilson Chan, Tseung Kwan O

CCTV may see rude cabbies mend ways

People are dissatisfied with taxi services in Hong Kong because drivers are always cherry-picking and refusing passengers. That is what prompted a taxi group to install CCTV systems in some vehicles (“Cabbies hail CCTV trial run in drive for ­quality”, September 20).

I believe making a CCTV ­system compulsory for taxis will help reduce misconduct.

CCTV data can help resolve arguments with passengers, and act as a deterrent against ­cabbies overcharging or taking unnecessarily long routes.

Taxi drivers can also become more self-regulatory because of the system and the industry can win back its reputation.

Chloe Wong, Sheung Shui

Even a little food waste harms planet

Last month, the BBC reported that British households throw away 7 million tonnes of food waste every year. But about 60 per cent of Britons claimed they wasted a little or none at all. ­Unfortunately, that isn’t the truth.

Hongkongers are similar to the British. Having no idea about how much food we waste every day is the main reason that the amount of food waste has kept on rising in recent years.

If we don’t know how much we waste, then we will not train ourselves to waste less because in our mind, we only waste a little food which will not affect the environment a lot. It is hard to waste less without knowing how serious the situation is.

I wonder of readers know how serious the situation is. Even a little food waste can bring detrimental consequences to the environment.

Winnie Lui, Tseung Kwan O