Letters to the editor

Update your pet’s microchip

A Canberra man is mourning the loss of a precious friend – a seventeen-year-old dog named Izzy, who wandered off and was euthanised by Australian Capital Territory rangers.

The ACT government's city services directorate advised that Izzy appeared to be in poor health, the contact details found on the microchip were not current and efforts to contact her guardian failed.

Anyone who has shared a home with a companion animal will likely understand that lurch in the stomach when you realise that they have wandered off through a door that you thought was shut.

The initial panic is followed by recrimination, and then fear of what might befall your beloved companion.

If dog or cats are microchipped, there is hope of finding them, but only if you have updated your contact details on the microchip database.

We are a mobile nation and we regularly move to different streets, towns or states.

When you move, you have to notify a lot of organisations – power, phone, post and so.

High on your checklist should be updating your details on the register of microchips.

Log on to petaddress.com.au using your dog or cat’s microchip number and it will redirect you to the database that lists your contact details. If you have moved home since you last registered a microchip, check it now. It might save your furry friend’s life.

- D. Bellamy, PETA

Parents, do your bit for education

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.  It’s something that no politician or education bureaucrat will accept.  

Australia is in the doldrums of educational results simply because this generation of parents have failed miserably to shoulder their part of educating their children. Massive SUVs loaded with children and soccer boots, ballet shoes, netball gear and swim goggles do not count as “educating”.  

Instead of spending an hour training on a paddock, try reading with your child, doing some maths or times tables instead. Instilling your child with a mantra of “listen to your teacher” and “don’t talk in class, do your schoolwork” would probably help too.

Sheeting home some personal responsibility to parents is a vote-loser so cheap shots at teachers (they need more training, they should work a 38-hour week, they need to be paid more) is the norm, especially since teachers have a union so they must all be Labor voters anyway so no harm done.  

It’s much easier (and more popular) to press on with the monumental failures of NAPLAN and Mr Throw-More-Money-At-It Gonski so I guess we’ll have more of that. My wife has the (in my opinion) misfortune to be a high school teacher so I have some insight into it. I suppose that could be called bias too.

- F. Cop, Wellington Point

Doctors hit back over opioid crackdown

LONG overdue. Australia has a serious prescription drug problem and has done for years. Many loved ones would still be with us if this had been addressed sooner.

- B. Wallman, via Facebook

I AM hoping Australia will use logical objective methods in any opioid crackdown, instead of what the US has. Evidence does not support that the true pain patients are in fact the danger or problem. Evidence overseas has not produced proof that true pain patients are any cause of opioid crisis.

There is a genuine need for patients in chronic pain who have no hope of cure, to have access to relief, and for some that does mean opioids.

These patients are careful and under supervision of medicos. It would be utterly inhumane if these were the ones to suffer. Doctors dealing with pain patients in the US are turning patients away and leaving them in dreadful pain.

- M. Sim, via Facebook