THE artificial insemination procedures inflicted once again on Tian Tian and Yang Guang by their jailers at Edinburgh Zoo are both invasive and stressful for these much-manipulated animals.

And all for what? Even if these procedures are successful, any panda cubs born as a result will be doomed to spend their entire lives in captivity.

The only real hope for pandas lies in protecting their rapidly disappearing natural habitat.

If Edinburgh Zoo genuinely cared about this much-loved species, its funds would be directed towards habitat conservation rather than perpetuating the cruel cycle of captive breeding.

Hannah Levitt, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.