Letter: Don't let rabies in

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Suzanne Moore ("A few of my pet hates", 25 September) addresses the way the arguments about rabies control have been hijacked by a handful of loud-mouthed, self-interested, middle-class pet owners. She is wrong, however, to say that the threat of rabies is diminishing.

There is no evidence that rabies has reduced in Mediterranean countries. In France, the unofficial rule of no rabies north of the Loire still holds, but Germany has a long border with east European countries much of which is wooded, with wolves and bears still in existence. As a result, German rabies controls are draconian. A walk in the Black Forest may involve admiring the view but never, never approaching an animal, wild or tame, and however sick or distressed. Any transgression produces a flurry of tests and very painful jabs.

Is this really what we want here? In future will we be terrified of feeding the squirrels in the park, or rescuing a sheep trapped in barbed wire? We have a moat round our country which has served us well. Those demanding change are exploiting the new self-disgust, largely engineered by the media, that all and any British procedures and institutions are inefficient, time-expired and probably racist.

I have two cats and a house in France which I visit for ten weeks every year. I pay someone to look after them while I am away and I shall never take them with me.

JOSIE EDWARDS

London, N10

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