x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

If laws are not enforced, what good are they?

Readers also share their views on topics including underground trash bins, alleged torture by police in India, driving while texting, the proper way to handle sex-abuse cases, and the price of milk.

Exotic animals such as these young ostriches are found in the shops of Sharjah's Animal and Bird Souq. A reader says that banning the sale of protected species is meaningless unless the law is enforced. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Exotic animals such as these young ostriches are found in the shops of Sharjah's Animal and Bird Souq. A reader says that banning the sale of protected species is meaningless unless the law is enforced. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

The article 'I can get you a baby white tiger by Friday' (May 22) reveals a problem for laws in general, not only the small but important field of animal smuggling.

Too often governments all around the world believe, or pretend, that just passing a law solves a problem. But without effective and tireless enforcement, laws will be ignored and the result is that the problem which a law was intended to tackle simply persists.

Of course, passing a law or issuing a decree is a lot simpler than really getting to grips with the problems of enforcement. Whether it's speeding or discrimination against the disabled or animal abuse or property law or drug law or anything else, enforcement is costly, requiring steady determination, public awareness campaigns and even-handed prosecution of every violation of the law.

Sometimes I think any country would be better off with fewer laws, chosen carefully but then fully enforced.

John Hannigan, Dubai


Fair play for local milk producers

Thank you for the excellent article Imports raise food security flag in UAE (May 21).

I think that local producers are often not fully in touch with the demands of customers. For example, I believe there is a real opportunity for someone to produce local, free-range organic poultry.

Also, I was interested to learn that there is no import duty on milk.

With a fixed price and such an advantage for importers, no wonder the local dairy companies feel disadvantaged.

Sally Prosser, Dubai

You call that safe driving?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

While praising the driving skills of Hana Yazbak, the reporter and the photographer for your story It's official: women are safer drivers than men (May 22) overlooked the fact that she has one hand on the steering wheel while the other is holding on to her phone, with her thumb firmly in place to reply to that "important" text message!

Women in general may be better drivers than we mortals, but that may not be true of every woman.

Anwar Ali Khan, Dubai

Underground bins have problems

Thank you for your story Underground bins spread across capital (May 20). As someone who regularly walks by several of these bins, I am disgusted by them.

They are filthy, smell foul and must be a breeding ground for bacteria, flies and vermin. They should be an embarrassment to the Centre of Waste Management rather than being considered some kind of accomplishment.

Will anyone be responsible for cleaning these dirty containers?

Cora Yanacek, Abu Dhabi

It's OK to buy it but not to drink it?

I refer to your story New year's revel lands tourist in prison (May 19) about a man who was fined Dh1,000 for consuming alcohol.

If tourists can buy booze without a licence at duty-free shops upon arrival in the UAE, it is inconsistent to then charge these same tourists for consuming what they can buy openly and presumably legally.

The double standard is not good for tourism in the country.

Name withheld by request.

How to handle a sex-abuse case

How interesting to see that the woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City was not taken into police custody.

Furthermore, the alleged molester's picture is in the papers, with name disclosed, even though he is innocent until proven guilty according to the law of the land.

This is all a dramatic contrast from what can happen in the UAE, as exposed in Hassan Hassan's article Victims of sexual assault should not be forced into silence (May 15).

Nicholas York, Abu Dhabi

No excuse for torture by police

Your story Brutal world of India's police tactics (May 22) was meaningful and interesting to read.

Police torture is unacceptable. This brutality in the case of Utpal Mahato's son must be investigated. Under police torture, we know that even innocent people may admit to crimes.

People have confidence in the newly elected government of Mamata Banerjee to solve this issue; she is known for her concern for the common man's problems.

The police are supposed to protect the people, not torture them. I hope Utpal Mahato will get justice for his son.

K Ragavan, India