SIR, - In your editorial Comment about the Box Tree's taking pate de foie gras off the menu, you said that in a democracy it should be up to the elected Government to decide through the legislature what is right and what is wrong'.

The Government has already made its decision on the matter clear by banning the production of foie gras in this country on cruelty grounds, but it is unable to block foreign imports because of European trade laws. Frustrated by this lack of control, DEFRA Minister Ben Bradshaw last year urged consumers to boycott foie gras, saying: "We believe that the production of foie gras using force-feeding gives rise to serious welfare concerns . We hope that public pressure will contribute to an end to this practice."

The force-feeding of ducks and geese is also outlawed in a number of other countries including Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel. The city of Chicago banned its sale, and, in a recent move, so did York City Council.

Clearly it is not only animal welfare groups who regard the rearing of ducks and geese to produce foie gras as unacceptable.

Mark Sutcliffe - 14 St. John's Avenue, Addingham.

Alcohol dangers

SIR, - So the police chief warns pupils over cannabis. But what about a far more dangerous drug than cannabis?.

All the scientific evidence on drug abuse makes it clear that alcohol, although legal, is a far more dangerous drug. It causes far more short term behavioural problems and long term medical problems than not just cannabis but also other drugs like LSD, 4-methylthioamphetamine and Ecstasy.

Some individuals with a particularly genetic make-up may be putting themselves at greater risk by smoking cannabis - Google MRC -Gene explains cannabis psychosis link - but this pales into insignificance compared with the harm that alcohol causes.

How many of those who are so up in arms about one young woman possessing a small amount of a comparatively harmless drug are quite happy for their offspring to partake of a drug which, although legal, is recognized as being far more damaging not only to them as individuals but to society in general.

Would the Head of IGS have had the same reaction if under age alcohol had been discovered? Both the police and the school - which, after all, specialises in Science - should pay more attention to scientific evidence than to press-fostered sensationalism.


Filthy street

SIR, - The pavements in Brook Street are a disgrace. On Thursday, May 16, for instance, the stretch of pavement from the Crescent Hotel up to the Costa coffee bar was a mess: dog excrement, black blotches (vomit?) other stains, etc.

On the other side of the road, many of the small flags are uneven and post a risk to pedestrians. I wonder what visitors to Ilkley make of Brook Street?

I wonder, too, how the shopkeepers with frontages to Brook Street feel about the apparent neglect by the highways department.

Given the hefty community charges imposed, it is not unreasonable to expect our councillors to demand high standards of cleanliness.

Robert Hughes - 4 Saint Mary's Close, Little Lane, Ilkley.