I READ with interest your recent article about the badger vaccination programme.

Normally I feel dismayed at the efforts of such groups who know nothing about country life.

I am heartened that this group seems to be taking a controlled scientific approach to the problem of badgers carrying this disease into the bovine population. The badgers are carriers, but they don’t suffer from it.

However there is one aspect which seems to be ignored by everyone.

Although no one wants to see these lovely animals slaughtered, vaccination will not be a long term solution, simply because bacteria mutate.

We humans have a different flu vaccine every year, because the virus changes every year. Our doctors are trying not to administer antibiotics because the bacteria are becoming immune to them, and we are getting so called super bugs.

The same thing will happen to bovine tuberculosis. If we regularly vaccinate badgers against bTB, it will mutate, and we shall end up with a far bigger problem.

Of course they can point to statistics of successful trials at the beginning, but for how long?

Our farmers lose hundreds of thousands of pounds a year through having their cattle slaughtered due to bovine TB, carried by badgers. Farmers have hearts too, it is very upsetting to see their cows sick, and being slaughtered.

I would like to see a programme of combined vaccination and culling.

Lionel Stanton Via email