Letter: 'Aids' in cows

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I READ the article on bovine 'Aids' with interest and concern (' 'Aids' outbreak feared in British dairy herd', 6 February). I live in a rural area surrounded by crops, orchards and grazing land, and some years ago, one of my cats developed feline 'Aids' (FIV).

At the same time, I read an article about research in America on the effects of chemicals - pesticides, fungicides etc - on the immune systems of animals. Scientists found a connection but the State Department apparently tried to suppress the results.

Is it possible that the use of certain chemicals in this country could be a contributory factor in the development of 'Aids' in cattle? One realises from this and other episodes, that the Ministry of Agriculture's concern is the agricultural industry and not the consumer. The chemical industry also exerts considerable influence. The population, as usual, comes bottom of the list.

Gwenda Cunningham

Beaminster, Dorset