MY personal preference for Scottish independence stems from the principle that small is beautiful. Bringing governance to a local level should encourage people to take better care of their environment and the natural resources we rely on for our survival. Schumacher put it far more eloquently than I, but the base line is that if we all avoid crapping on our own doorsteps the whole planet will be the better for it.

It saddens me that the Scottish Government does not put into practise that fundamental principle. In his article “Revealed: the ten lochs polluted by fish farm pesticide” (Sunday National, May 24), Rob Edwards highlights one of many cases where the Scottish Government bends over backwards to accommodate industries which cause great damage to our environment.

READ MORE: Revealed: The 10 Scottish lochs polluted by fish farm chemicals

Factory salmon farming is a huge industry controlled by multinationals. As well as pollution problems and damage to wildlife, the industry has by far the highest death rate of stock from disease, parasitic infestation and injury than any other form of animal farming. If it happened on land in open view, the industry would have been closed decades ago.

Scotland also has a poor record when it comes to protecting wild fish stocks from overfishing and guarding wild animals and birds from persecution by farmers, “sporting” estates and fox hunters.

Animal Concern campaigned for decades to stop fish farmers killing seals. The Scottish Government responded by giving shooters licences to make the killing respectable. We campaigned against fox hunting, goose culling and killing of beavers on Taywild salmon.side. The Scottish Government responded by issuing licences to make the killing respectable. What the government failed to do is police those licences.

Along with others we campaigned to have “sporting” estates licensed, hoping there can be some control over the massive toll such estates take on native wildlife, which might eat the eggs or chicks of the birds to be shot for recreation. So far the Scottish Government hasn’t even bothered issuing estate licences.

As far as the environment is concerned, it is regrettable that the Scottish Government does not present a good case for independence.

John F Robins
Animal Concern

I NOTE Stan Grodynski’s letter (Tories and Labour are no longer for UK-wide approach, May 30) and agree that the zero-hours contracts could compel the care workers to work on. Stan also mentions how the leaders of the Scottish Tories and Scottish Labour try to point the finger at the early discharges of the 921 hospital patients to the care homes in early to mid March as a source of the infection, which has ravaged some care homes.

READ MORE: An Independence Tsar could be what our movement needs

I have not seen anyone query where these patients could have picked up the Covid-19 infection from. They were presumably stable, having been in hospital for some time but not fit to discharge to their home, and also asymptomatic, hence they were not tested. The virus at that time was more prevalent in the community. Hospitals had split into Covid and non-Covid areas, so these patients were not likely to have picked up the virus as in-patients. They were discharged to create room for the predicted increase in Covid cases.

These patients cannot have picked up the virus prior to admission as it had not arrived, and they would have been protected in hospital due to the split, so how can they be the source of the care home infection? Unfortunately, rather than protecting them, transfer to the care homes put some of them at more risk.

Dr Allan Merry