Letter: A pest to whom exactly?

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GEOFFREY LEAN calls the badger "a positive menace" ("Watch out, Mr Badger", 23 August). But it is not a pest species. It is not in competition with agriculture. And the theory concerning a connection with TB is thrown into increasing doubt by results of the culling programme. The presence of the badger indicates that we have not yet crossed the Rubicon, that there is still British countryside outside of the scientised, sanitised, production process. Anyone who sees a badger in the wild can feel only honoured; many older country people have never seen one. Established sets often have a history in an area not of decades but of centuries. These creatures have a right to remain unmolested.

The genocide of these communities in place of an analysis of industrial farm practice - ie, production regimes where TB may be incubated in silage production, intensive sheds where animals are in continual contact with each others' urine and saliva, etc - is a political sop to the agricultural lobby.

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