This pointless farm slaughter

(Letter---Sunday Times 18 March 2001)

I AM appalled at the pointless slaughter of thousands of animals In Britain and Europe in an irrational plan to halt foot and mouth disease.

In southern Africa domestic stock and wildlife encounter foot and mouth occasionally and there is no illogical slaughter — because Africans have the good sense to realise that it serves no purpose other than inciting panic and disgust.

In southern Africa the disease is controlled by quarantine and disinfectant alone. Wildlife build up an immunity afterwards and domestic stock can live to see another day.

Unlike British farmers, who subscribe to the cruel mindless culling of all cloven-hoofed animals, southern African farmers realise that it is wild animals such as foxes, badgers and hares that carry the disease across the land and no amount of slaughter will prevent this, just as culling badgers will never prevent the spread of TB.

Culling is a savage display of ignorance perpetuated by government compensation.

Animals in British farms have been injected with hormones and antibiotics, kept in crates and cages so that they cannot move around and have now suffered needlessly in this epidemic. Ignorance reigns as money is the route to this daunting display of savagery.

It appears that compassion and respect for livestock ended when the common agricultural policy started.


Dr Tanya Ritchie