LETTER: Herd instinct is to blame the `greedy' farmer

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The Independent Online
From Mrs Joan Haggard Sir: Mr Waldegrave's assertion that it would be illegal for Britain to ban the export of live food animals makes me think back to the signing of the Treat of Rome. I understood that Clause 36 of this treaty gave us the right to control our own legislation where it affected the welfare of people or animals. At what point in subsequent negotiations did we lose this right - or have we still got it but choose not to enforce it for economic reasons?

The easiest way out of the minister's present predicament would be for the Government to encourage British farmers to use some of their "set-aside" land to rear their own calves by the humane group-housed, straw-based system. Once the practicability and value of this method had been proved, it would be easier to persuade our Continental partners, also, to adopt it in preference to their obscene veal crates. Meanwhile, we would at least be living by our own principles.

Yours faithfully, JOAN HAGGARD Harpenden, Hertfordshire 8 January