Letter: Farming moans

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WE TAXPAYERS are heartily sick of the whingeing, the whining, the choruses of self-pity from the farmers or, more accurately, animal dealers (Letters, 12 September).

For years, huge subsidies have been paid into this squalid food-animal industry, from our own Government and from the EU in the form of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The BSE scandal alone has cost more than pounds 4bn - to "save the beef industry". Sheep farmers have for years had almost half their incomes provided by subsidies. They have vastly overbred, and now animals are being dumped at sanctuaries and by the roadside, because their owners say they cannot kill them themselves - in sharp contrast to their earlier readiness to collect the money, after trucking them off to markets to be slaughtered in distant abattoirs.

When will the Government, Maff and we taxpayers protest "enough"? We have been compelled to fork out billions of pounds, recklessly dissipated in producing too many animals now doomed to destruction. No other industry has been so "feather-bedded" - the coal miners, the steel workers, the shipbuilders, the textile workers have all passed into oblivion. It is about time that this primitive and brutal food animal industry goes the same way.

MICHAEL SUTCLIFFE

Southwold, Suffolk

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