Sir, – Your report, Gamekeeper warns of dead hares everywhere if protesters block cull, (November 10) is nothing more than scaremongering from a small minority keen to maintain their sport of commercial shooting.
The mountain hare is a much-loved iconic species which is sadly subjected to unjust levels of persecution even though it is thought to be in decline.
The British Trust for Ornithology’s monitoring, for example, suggests that the population has decreased by 34% between 1996 and 2014.
On grouse moors, where they are heavily culled, spring abundance of adults has been reduced by between five to a hundred-fold.
The idea that if this struggling species wasn’t culled many would die anyway is ludicrous.
Mountain hare are killed on grouse moors because estates fear they spread a disease to red grouse chicks, meaning fewer available to shoot.
Yet the Scottish Government’s own scientific advisers concluded that there is no evidence for this. Not only is it cruel; the killing is completely futile.
OneKind’s lobby at the Scottish Parliament today is an organised peaceful event which will be attended by concerned members of the public to raise awareness among politicians and the Scottish Government of the urgent need for greater protection of the hare. I invite anyone who shares our concern for Scotland’s wildlife to join us.
50 Montrose Terrace,
Poor welcome to Dundee
Sir, – What has happened to Dundee Technology Park?
We visited Dundee last week and saw that at least two of the buildings have been badly vandalised.
This is a terrible welcome to Dundee for visitors as it is the first thing they see as they head to the town centre.
As a native Dundonian I am very disappointed that the town is being allowed to deteriorate in this way.
27 Laurel Way,
Bridge of Weir.
Arts linked to health benefits
Sir, – It was heartening to see the acknowledgement of the arts in the healing of those with mental health issues featured in The Courier.
However, Fife had its very own Gugging process for several years.
NHS Fife and Fife Cultural Trust ran cultural prescription programmes using photography, glass making and painting and drawing as therapy for people with both physical and mental health issues.
These programmes complemented the more traditional medical approaches.
I ran the photography course for two years and we even had our own photographic exhibition of students’ work.
So what happened to this amazing project that gave so many struggling people their self-esteem and confidence? Well, like so many other things related to the arts, funding was dropped and the courses were brought to a halt so all of these people who had benefitted were left isolated and forgotten.
No doubt many of these people returned to long-term dependence on medicine which costs much more than an art therapy course.
Until this country’s leaders wake up to the fact that the arts have an important place in society and its mental health, we will just see the usual short-term lip service paid to projects that other European countries take seriously.
4 Weavers Crescent,
Sir, – It would appear Nicola Sturgeon’s audacity has no limits.
She says she will continue to monitor Donald Trump’s development during the transition period before his inauguration.
I don’t think Mr Trump will be concerned about her one little bit.
Ms Sturgeon and Alex Salmond sought to make headlines with comments aimed at what they believed was a no-chance candidate.
Now they are reduced to grovelling at the feet of Donald Trump.
SNP back off from devolution
Sir, – So even though a raft of new welfare powers could be administered through Holyrood next year, the SNP government has asked for them not to be devolved until 2020 because, so Angela Constance says, they are complex.
What did she expect?
Arguably SNP politicians are highly competent campaigners, principally against the Tories, Westminster and the UK. Indeed, in this regard their unceasing work is professional and polished, effective and efficient.
But when in comes down to managing a growing raft of devolved domestic issues, seemingly they are found wanting.
4 Royal Circus,
Court’s role in upholding law
Sir, – I must disagree with your correspondent Gordon Kennedy who suggested in his letter that “an unelected court” is stalling the triggering of Article 50.
I feel his anger is aimed in the wrong direction.
The High Court is independent and unelected for a reason, so that it is not at the beck and call of the particular party in power.
Its remit is to uphold the law.
That is what has happened in this case, and Mr Kennedy should be angry at the Brexit campaigners who wrongly stated that Britain could leave the European Union in an illegal manner.
More than 17 million people in the United Kingdom had their say and the will of those people must be dealt with properly.
Those people believe in a democracy and a sovereign Britain.
They must surely want to see that the whole procedure is dealt with in a legal, British way.
Rather than being held in contempt, I would say that the voters of Britain are being treated with respect and the High Court is paving a way for a proper resolution.
Brexit must be legal and fair
Sir, – Like your correspondent Gordon Kennedy of Perth (November 9) I too voted to leave the European Union but, unlike him, I am not “unhappy and angry” about the court decision.
Rather, I delight in an independent judiciary, where an individual can take the Government to court when she suspects it may be trying to operate illegally.
Many people in countries around the world would like such a chance.
I want out of the European Union, Mr Kennedy, but I also want to make sure we do it legally.
Once a Government thinks itself above the law we are on a very slippery slope.
Judges do not make the law, we do, through our elected representatives, and if we get it wrong we shouldn’t blame the judges,
100 Crail Road,