WHAT on earth is wrong with our country? Could anybody read about the savage treatment of tiny Murphy, the blind, 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier who was kicked to death by thugs, without feeling like crying?

Elaine Nelson (Letters, July 26) details some proposed punishment for the sub-humans who starved animals in their care to death and were handed out a pitiful “suspended sentence” and she is right – physical pain could certainly be the deserved answer, but nobody seems to have the guts to carry out this sort of sentence.

Why? Why do we have any reservations about treating like with like and giving criminals a taste of their own medicine? Animals seem to have no rights at all – we use them as if they are simply here for our convenience; cause them agony in testing for supposed medical reasons and then, when someone goes over the mark and causes death or suffering, our laws don’t allow them the punishment they richly deserve.

Reading Mr D Fillingham’s letter (same date), one appreciates how little we really care about how animals are treated and yet we respect the “human rights” of these people, when the inhuman wrongs they have committed seem to be completely ignored.

Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York.