RE the letter from Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) supporting Environment Secretary Hilary Benn’s decision not to authorise a badger cull to tackle rising bovine TB (HAS, July 11).

Some regard it as madness that common sense, much scientific evidence, the Krebs (culling) trial, a former government chief scientific advisor, backed by professors of ecology, immunology, epidemiology, veterinary medicine and MPs who have lots of experience in this matter, are ignored.

All believe a controlled cull to be the only answer, and surprise, surprise, the Government is breaching EU law by not taking action to eradicate bovine TB.

How can a policy that sees the suffering of badgers, other wildlife, and cattle (14,000 killed because of TB in just four months) – with the only suggestion to counter this being more control of cattle movements and the vague hope that an effective vaccine can be successfully produced in the distant future – be justified?

There are farmers who have brought no new stock into, but suffered TB in their herd.

Despite increased movements due to restocking in the North after foot-and-mouth, the disease is largely unknown in the North- East, although with the rapid increase of badger populations and lack of action it is creeping up on us.

John Heslop, Gainford, Darlington.