Rigorous inspections

As a farmer and vet, I invite Heather Mills McCartney (Focus, 23 May) to visit a dairy farm to see the pride farmers and their families take in caring for their cattle. Rather than repeat the myths about the live export of cattle to Europe, she should join the vets on farms and at ports to see how rigorously vehicles and cattle are inspected. Animal welfare is the top priority. Of course, I would rather see cattle reared in this country, but there is not the demand for male dairy calves here.

Veal crates have been outlawed in Europe, and the few remaining farms on the Continent that have those systems have six months to remove them.

In the interim, however, all of us in the farming industry should seek a guarantee that our cattle will only go to farms that meet our high standards.

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As a farmer, I know the export trade is vital and, as a vet, I know animals are cared for to the highest standards.


Stagehall, Stow


Having digested, with some difficulty, Heather Mills McCartney's scaremongering article on milk production, I considered myself lucky to be still around to read it.

Well, at least I was until I reminded myself that my crofter grandfather died at 87, and my grandmother, mother and aunt reached their late nineties, all of them, like me, having been raised on raw, unpasteurised milk straight from the cow, which may, or may not, have been "a cocktail of 11 different growth factors and 35 different hormones".




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