I am writing to you from Colorado, as the edict to kill thousands of horses made by the NSW government has made international news.
I have been fighting the Bureau of Land Management here in the US for years against their "gathers", where horses are chased by helicopter into a trap, and then, if not adopted, held in corrals indefinitely. I am against much of how this is done, although at least here it is mandatory that observers from wild horse organisations are present at the gather and subsequent holding.
From what I know of the killing slated for NSW, instead of gathering the horses over some period of time for adoption, the aim is to shoot them from a helicopter. This will result in chasing terrorised horses, the wounding and maiming of many that weren't killed outright, and many orphaned foals. Apparently there will be no observers allowed, so whatever horrors occur in such a mass killing will go unseen except by the shooters.
How a wealthy country could allow such an unconscionable extermination of sentient beings, with no one even to observe and mitigate the worst, is a mystery. If the government of NSW wanted to remove the horses from the land, there are other ways that are non-lethal if they were willing to consider alternatives. Why are people allowing such a horror show when there are alternatives? Does anyone care?
Jeffrey Hersch, Denver, Colorado
Careful study of drug use required
The Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association (ATODA) notes the data that has come through in the latest wastewater analysis, including the increase in cannabis consumption in the ACT over the past few years. It is important to situate these numbers in a broader context, noting that this was a point in time collection with no broader information available about patterns of drug use in the community.
Drug use data tends to fluctuate over time. The data indicates an increase in cannabis consumption in the ACT from 2020-2023, however, we can see a similar (or higher) increase of around 35 per cent in NSW at the same time. In fact, an increase over the same period can be observed across all states and territories - excluding Victoria.
With this in mind - it is difficult to conclude that the increase was directly connected to the decriminalisation of cannabis in the ACT. Notwithstanding this, I fully support close analysis of a range of data sets including, but not limited to, wastewater data, to evaluate the impact of drug discrimination laws in the ACT. A thorough and ongoing analysis of drug decriminalisation requires consideration of other factors such as court diversions, number of people accessing alcohol and other drug support services, stigma reduction in the community and reduction in overall harms from drugs including overdose and hospital presentations.
ATODA looks forward to making an ongoing contribution on behalf of the specialist alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment sector in the ACT.
Anita Mills, ATODA CEO
Get back to real crimes
It beggars belief that when the AFP does not have resources to attend burglaries, traffic collisions but has time to give false evidence about fighting in public, and to conduct a witch hunt against Jan Spate, a much-loved vet already forced into retirement.
Her real crime was simply undercutting the extortionate charges by the veterinary establishment. I thought the AFP's job was to fight crime.
John Coochey, Chisholm
Important reporting for Canberra
Very good work from reporter Jasper Lindell on the sickening allegations surrounding Johnathan Davis.
We subscribers of The Canberra Times are frequently well-served by Lindell and his colleagues but this type of story is more evidence of how vital the work is for all Canberrans.
Erin Cook, Waramanga
Taking the slower ride
A bus trip from Gungahlin to Woden used to take 40 minutes. Rosemary Walters (Letters, November 10) is pleased at the prospect of being able to take more than 50 minutes to make the same trip on a "rapid" tram.
Leon Arundell, Downer
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