While it is commendable that the media has shown great sympathy for the plight of the pod of pilot whales in Scotland, this is in sharp contrast to the complete silence with regard to reporting the annual massacre of thousands of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands.

Islanders in motorboats drive these creatures into a bay, and then the exhausted and terrified creatures are repeatedly stabbed with spears and hooks.

Undercover investigators report that the whales scream out to each other, and the blood-stained bay is filled with horribly mutilated and dying whales.

This massacre is carried out in a carnival atmosphere, and even school children are given a day off school to witness the carnage, clambering over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.

By slaughtering 100 whales at a time, the Faroese are wiping out entire pods and family groups.

The drive hunt is a practice abandoned elsewhere many decades ago, and now outlawed by other European states. The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands have no subsistence need for whale meat, and much of the flesh is left to rot and is dumped. It cannot be exported as it is polluted with heavy metals and other toxins and, therefore, cannot meet EU health standards for human food.

Petitions and letters to the Prime Minister and other authorities fall on deaf ears.

This is happening in the 21st century in a European country, but it seems that any barbarity in the treatment of animals, no matter how horrendous, can always be excused in the name of tradition.

Sharon Hopkins, Templar Road, North Oxford