x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Games ceremony was the best of British

A reader praises filmmaker Danny Boyle's Olympics opening ceremony. Other letter topics: the sale of wild animals, obesity and veganism.

A reader says the London Olympics opening ceremony was a
A reader says the London Olympics opening ceremony was a "treat to watch". Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Congratulations to London, the Olympic committee and Danny Boyle, the great filmmaker, for the fabulous opening ceremony.

It was a real treat to watch.

Organising such a grand ceremony requires management and leadership skills of a very high order, in addition to great creativity, technical skills and security arrangements.

What a wonderful show.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Scars of war will take time to heal

Regarding Battle at gates of Aleppo's Old City (July 25), if Syrian President Bashar Al Assad truly cared for his nation, he would have been open to change and listening to the voice of his people.

Clearly he is not willing to step aside and back down to the opposition. And if the opposition forces truly want change for the better, they have to go about it through blood and violence.

Meanwhile, the world stands by, taking sides.

It is sad that so many have lost their lives due to greed, intolerance and hate. There are no winners in war, only death and bitterness to last decades to come.

Tricia Sutherland, Dubai

Animals must be protected

Endangered wildcats for sale on website (July 26) was an important article. I would like to emphasise that this is perhaps the tip of the iceberg.

The Middle East in general is an important hub for the trade in wild animals and more stringent legislation is required to put an end to it.

The UAE is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) and it therefore has an obligation to ensure that traders of wildlife cannot use any "loopholes" in the law.

The fact that wild endangered cats are advertised for sale online is a disturbing trend and this should prompt policymakers to strengthen policies regarding wild animal ownership and trade.

If illegal trade of wildlife continues and people have the opportunity to trade wildlife online, then UAE is not meeting up to the expectations of Cites.

I hope there is more effort placed into tracking individuals keeping endangered wild animals in their residences.

Public awareness should be increased to ensure that wild animals under the Cites appendices are not kept in private residences.

Penalties should be imposed on those who violate these regulations.

Inquiries need to be initiated at the government level to crack down on private ownership of wild endangered animals.

After all, the UAE prides itself on its role in environmental stewardship, and the widespread use of endangered animals as exotic pets is inconsistent with that role.

Sabir Bin Muzaffar, Assistant professor, Department of Biology, UAE University

If you own an exotic animal, it will die. Lions, tigers and cheetahs are hunting species and they need a large area to hunt for prey.

That is how they live; they should not be sold, but protected.

A few months ago, a young cheetah was purchased in Al Ain and it escaped. It was malnourished, because the owner didn't know what to feed this poor animal.

I ask the UAE Government to ban the illegal importation of wild and exotic animals. The consequences to the animals are far more important than the people who want to own these animals.

John Cronin, Abu Dhabi

Obesity grows as fast food sales rise

I write in reference to McDonald's beefs up burger sales (July 25).

According to the latest available study by the World Health Organisation, 67 per cent of Emirati men and 72 per cent of Emirati women are overweight.

Irwin Fletcher, Dubai

Admiration for vegan's stance

I enjoyed reading Rabha Ashry's comment article, In pursuit of a vegan lifestyle, Abu Dhabi offers little help (July 27).

Rabha, you have my wholehearted support and admiration for your commitment to veganism in the face of what must be a steep uphill struggle.

I was an avid carnivore when I got married, however, with my 100 per cent vegetarian better half and her delicious vegetarian cooking, I've willingly become (almost) totally vegetarian over the years. I wish you all the best in your studies and continued veganism.

Mamba Sna, Dubai

Beat the holiday rush, stay home

Thanks for Plan your Eid escape (July27), but I think I'll just have a quiet time here in the UAE, then travel when the airport's not so busy. Trevor Carmichael, Abu Dhabi