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READERS’ LETTERS: Owners’ behaviour gives dogs a bad name

Our lead letter writer says Staffies "would rather smother you with love than attack anyone".
Our lead letter writer says Staffies "would rather smother you with love than attack anyone".

Sir, – Once again the headlines are screaming out “Staffie attack”, following an incident in Arbroath in which a Yorkshire terrier was allegedly mauled by one of the dogs, and the good work of organisations such as Staffie Smiles, which are helping to give these dogs forever homes, has taken a knock again.

While in no way do I condone dog attacks and I have every sympathy with the victims, they are not all committed by Staffies.

Any breed of dog in the wrong hands could attack.

The point I am making is that the behaviour of the dog stems from the owner.

There are, I know, Staffies bought because they look “tough” and trained to be aggressive but any Staffie I know would rather smother you with love than attack anyone.

Rehoming kennels are full of these dogs but ask anyone who works there and they will tell you they are friendly, loving dogs.

I’ve said it before and I don’t mind repeating myself – if you think you see an aggressive dog look at the other end of the lead.

Wilma Thom.

Callander Drive,



Talking sense on tarmac plan

Sir, – My family and I recently had a delightful lunch at Little’s new restaurant in Blairgowrie. The transformation from the old church is remarkable and Mr Little is to be commended for all the thought, care and consideration he has put into the lovely old place of worship.

I understand Mr Little wishes to cover the car park with tarmacadam but apparently the council is of the belief that this would not be suitable round the sandstone edifice and suggests gravel would be a better choice.

Our congregation support two churches in Crieff, both built of sandstone, one as a place of worship and the other as a hall used by the whole community of Crieff.

The church is surrounded by tarmacadam and the hall by gravel.

I may say I have just returned from the latter this afternoon and found the gravel difficult to walk on with parts of it obviously in need of raking and covered with weeds in places.

I imagine if I had been wearing high heels I would have been most uncomfortable and some of the gravel would have found its way into the building, especially as it had been raining.

Little’s has had the church floor restored in keeping with the remainder of the building and I trust the council will seriously consider granting Mr Little’s request to have tarmacadam laid.

Moira Kerr.

Knock Road,



Bittersweet day for EU backers

Sir, – On Wednesday, celebrations took place across Scotland and the rest of the European Union to mark Europe Day, an annual celebration of peace and unity.

For pro-EU individuals like myself, it was a day tinged with sadness as this is the last year we will mark it prior to the UK leaving the EU in March 2019.

The day is also known as Schuman Day, commemorating the declaration on May 9 1950 by the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, which marked the first move towards the creation of the EU.

Europe had just come out of the Second World War, a conflict that nearly destroyed the continent and split it between two spheres of influence.

In a desire not to repeat such destruction, there was a great deal of momentum towards European co-operation, which would make war unthinkable.

The Schuman Declaration led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) the following year and was the forerunner of several other European Communities and what is now the European Union.

The ECSC was founded on the principle that tying former arch-enemies economically together would help deliver much-needed reconciliation and these institutions have proven to be highly successful in transforming a previously warring continent.

The EU ensures member states co-operate peacefully, and the creation of the single market has made us richer than we would have been without it.

It has been an inspiration for those who are fighting for the values of freedom and democracy across the world.

As we look to exit the EU it does no harm to be reminded of what we have enjoyed and what we are leaving – the precious gift of more than 70 years of peace and stability. The role of the EU in delivering this must be recognised and celebrated.

Alex Orr.

Leamington Terrace,



Gulls fending for themselves

Sir, – Having systematically destroyed the natural food source of gulls around our coast, it is not surprising that starvation is the sole reason for the birds invading our towns and cities.

Yes, they seem aggressive, but this is a natural reaction to chronic food shortage.

Fortunately due to litter louts etc who throw away masses of food the birds manage to tidy up after us.

They are an endangered species, believe it or not.

Bob Smart.

Bellevue Gardens,



‘Too stupid’ tag on shoogly peg

Two of your regular writers, Keith Howell, (May 7) and Martin Redfern (May 7 and 8) are in full propaganda mode regarding the Scottish Government’s record in office.

This is unsurprising. With the, “too wee”, “too poor” arguments against Scottish independence collapsing like Labour PFI-built schools, shoulders are put to the wheel in order to shore up the other, equally shoogly, “too stupid” pillar the unionists build their case on.

If there was any logic in the argument that a government’s proficiency had any bearing on whether or not a people should be independent, the English would surely have placed their affairs in the hands of another country long ago.

That the unionist target is a Scottish Government with the best track record in the UK only adds another level to this poorly-constructed folly.

It is noticeable, once again, that there is no UK-wide context given, or comparisons with their preferred parliament, in Mr Howell and Mr Redfern’s myopic narrative.

This is, again, unsurprising, as any such exercise would confirm that, in spite of Westminster’s restrictions, we are the best governed population in the UK.

This, Mr Redfern, is why all the devolved powers, currently residing at Brussels, which are Scotland’s by right, should return to the only parliament truly reflecting and respecting the wishes of the Scottish electorate.

Ken Clark.

Thorter Way,