IN RESPONSE to Richard Brennan’s comment on the lenient sentence handed out to Pamela and Joseph Palmer for cruelty and neglect to the many animals in their supposed care, I strongly agree (letters, July 23).

However, a higher fine would be out of the question as they have had all their assets repossessed by the bank.

A jail sentence would have been more fitting, but would cost the tax payers thousands of pounds per week.

I think in this case “an eye for an eye” approach might have been fair punishment – the offenders could have “locked in a derelict building, made to eat soil and then eventually thrown into a disused swimming pool after starving painfully to death”. It may sound harsh, but I think this country needs to toughen up on sentencing when dealing with abhorrent crimes like these.

Elaine Nelson, Sheriff Hutton, York.

• IN reply to a passage in your report headlined Test Ban Move (The Press, July 19), you said the Government had taken its first step toward ending animal testing with items such as bleach and washing-up liquid.

The RSPCA has branded this clueless. Why? I will tell you. Last year there were a record 3.6 million animal tests, of which only 24 were household products.

This is merely window-dressing by a cruel government. Just look at the number of animals which are experimented on every year: 150 cats, 4,000 dogs, 12,000 rabbits, 3,000 hamsters, 19,000 guinea pigs, 2,800 primates, 1,300,000 mice; and let’s not forget the horses, goats, sheep, pigs, rats, birds, ferrets, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

These multinationals seek only profit, they won’t look at developing alternatives to animals because there is no financial gain for their shareholders.

Mr D Fillingham, The Crossway, York.