Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

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

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