LETTER : Badgers, dairy cows and TB

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The Independent Online
YOUR article "A way out of the trap" (Review, 7 May), gives the impression that tuberculosis - TB - is not a serious risk to humans, thanks to the pasteurisation of milk. Unfortunately, pasteurisation not only kills TB bacteria should any find their way into milk, but it also kills the flavour.

Hence a significant specialist cheese industry has grown up supplying discerning customers with cheese which is made from raw milk. Abandonment of the TB eradication programme would not only destroy this growing industry, it would also necessitate the use of millions of pounds' worth of antibiotics to fight the disease when it occurs in cattle.

This would have a disastrous effect on the rural economy, with serious implications for the welfare of cattle, and it would do nothing to alleviate the suffering and death that TB undoubtedly inflicts on badgers.

Graham Padfield

NE Somerset NFU