IT was good to see Judge Adrian Lower expressing his opinion on the cruelty inflicted on a fox by two Stockton men who turned their dogs on it (Echo, June 8).

He rightly called it “sickening and disgraceful”. In his opinion, “setting two dogs on to another animal for sport is disgraceful”.

They were, quite rightly, sentenced to 16 weeks.

Can, therefore, some member of the hunting lobby please explain to me, a soft townie, the subtle difference between this and setting, not two dogs, but a whole pack, on to a fox, as they wish to do again.

I have asked this before in this newspaper, but the reply was a deafening silence.

Bill Bartle, Barnard Castle.

THE killing of badgers has not begun and may not take place for some months yet.

The cull remains a highly unpopular policy, and the recent vote in parliament (Echo, June 6), where MPs were heavily whipped to turn up and vote along party lines, was both undemocratic and an indicator of how desperate the Government is not to perform another U-turn.

Scientists tell us this cull won’t bring down rates of tuberculosis in cows, but the pilot culls are not even intended to.

The stated aim is to find out whether shooting free-running badgers is safe, effective in killing 70 per cent of all badgers, and humane.

When pressed, the Government admitted that humaneness will be determined by monitoring the sounds made by dying badgers.

Surprisingly, once killed, badgers will not even be tested to see whether they were infected.

The entire process is hopelessly flawed. Thankfully, there is still time to stop the cull.

Kate Fowler, Animal Aid.