6th June, 2002

From Canada

Dear Michael,
Just a short note from the new Mr & Mrs Lough (formerly Orla McGinn, Shamrock Lawn) to thank you for printing some of our wedding snaps in the Douglas Weekly. We were pleasantly surprised when we got back from honeymoon to see ourselves not only in black and white but colour also!!!!! At the moment these are the only wedding pictures we have as we are waiting on a big shipment from Ireland, so we do really appreciate the reminder! Speaking of appreciation I would like to extend our thanks to Aer Lingus for looking after us on our return flight to Canada in particular Claire O'Shaughnassy who after seeing our pictures in the Douglas Weekly knew we were honeymooners and tried to get us drunk at 7.30 in the morning! Thanks Claire - it made our trip so much more pleasant.
Keep up the good work at the Weekly - it's so nice when you're away from home that you can log onto the website and keep up to date with life in Douglas, although I do have one crib which is that the website isn't updated as quickly as the issues come out.
Regards to all in Douglas - maybe we'll be seeing some of you soon in Toronto!
Orla Lough,
Ontario, Canada

Thank You Douglas Lions

Dear Michael,
Just a note to let you know that the people who went on the Trabologan Holiday, sponsored by the Douglas Lions. Despite the wet-wet weather, had a wonderful time and a great holiday and wish to thank the Douglas Lions for their help and great efforts on our behalf.
Douglas Senior Citizens
( Name and address with Editor)

Animal Rights

Dear Editor
A major victory for animal rights has been recently been achieved in Germany. This country has become the first European nation to vote to guarantee animal rights in its constitution. A majority of lawmakers in the Bundestag recently voted to add "and animals" to a clause that obliges the state to respect and protect the dignity of humans.
The main impact of the measure will be to restrict the use of animals in experiments. 543 lawmakers in Germany's Lower House of Parliament votes in favour of giving animals constitutional rights. Nineteen voted against it and 15 abstained. The vote is expected to be approved by the Bundesrat Upper House this summer.
Article 20a of the German Basic Law will then read, "The state takes responsibility for protecting the natural foundations of life and animals in the interest of future generations". The issue has been keenly debated among German politicians for almost ten years. Animals in Germany already are protected through legislation defining the conditions in which they can be held in captivity, but animal rights activists claimed it did not go far enough to control the use of animals in research.
With the new measure the federal constitutional court will have to weigh animals rights against other entrenched rights, like those to conduct research or practice religion. This could translate into bringing tighter restrictions on the use of animals for testing cosmetics or non-prescription drugs.
Germany's Consumer Affairs Minister, Renate Kunast, a member of the environmentalist Green party that has lobbied for many years to bring animal rights into the constitution welcomed the changes as groundbreaking but emphasised it would not diminish human rights.
Germany, which has a history of progressive animal rights thinking, has stolen a march on the rest of its EU partners. It exposes how Ireland with its state approval for animal cruelty via bloodsports, the live animal export trade, vivisection etc is out of step on modern thinking towards the issue of animal rights/welfare. But the tide of change is slowly washing up on Ireland's blood soaked shores. Someday Irish society will be defined as a society that accepts, protects and defends the rights of all its members, both human and non-human.
John Tierney
Campaigns Director-Association of Hunt Saboteurs
PO Box 4734
Dublin 1