WE, in Southampton United Animal Charities (SUAC), deplore Mr White’s defence of keeping animals in zoos, including Marwell (Daily Echo January 19), away from their natural life and habitat.

Even if captive-bred, they retain all the instincts of life in the wild, to chase in hunting, to run away from predators, and in many cases to cover large distances in a day. To believe they can be restricted to small enclosures, even cages, for our amusement, is not acceptable in these days of enlightenment!

The wonderful wildlife films on television give one great pleasure, real education as to the lives of animals like they should be.

As to his scorn of PETA, a wonderful charity working worldwide for animals, he quotes the Daily Telegraph. The Conservative Press (and this Government) has always shown antipathy towards PETA. He says in America “it puts down 96 per cent of its unwanteds”, but if that’s the case it’s probably because the US has no ethos of people taking them from rescue centres, as we have. I’m sure PETA tries, but what do you do if they fall? Turn strays and perhaps the cruelly-treated, as well as unwanteds away all year long?

And Mr White’s sweeping assertions that we “animal concerned” have no cares about people! I can truly say I have never met any such, those that I have knowledge of are also distressed by human suffering. I contribute to disaster funds as well as animal charities and my husband contributes to an equal number of human charities. So put your prejudices away, Mr White!