Letter: Britain is free of rabies because of its quarantine laws

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SO ''pet owners would be pleased'' if quarantine were ended. They would not be so pleased if an outbreak of rabies in Britain resulted in their pets being destroyed as a precautionary measure. The ''rapid retreat'' of rabies on the Continent has obviously not reached Bavaria where, cycling through woods near the Danube two years ago, I was disturbed to see a notice warning of rabid foxes with specific reference to an occurrence the previous November. Sixty miles further on other notices, this time giving a general warning that rabies was prevalent in the area, were displayed.

This sort of thing would detract rather severely, I should say, from the charms of the British countryside. You comment ''nobody has died of rabies contracted in Britain for nearly a century''. Yes, let's keep it that way by maintaining our policy on quarantine, and by allowing the Government, represented by William Waldegrave in this instance, to make a thoroughly sensible decision for once.

P J Wood

Colwyn Bay, Clwyd

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