I READ regularly with interest the View Points page, but recent letters force me to respond.

Isobell Bretherton’s response (Wretched Life of a Cow, September 7) to Kate Fowler’s letter (Time to boycott milk August 31) was comprehensive and true. I am a dairy farmer and am passionate about all my farm animals, proud of the way they are reared and kept to a high, caring standard.

They spend the majority of their life in the fields and are only housed when the weather is really bad in the winter.

None of my calves get a bullet through the head at two to three-days old. It has never been our policy to do this, ever.

To be viable, we sell milk excess to the calves’ requirement, but this helps towards maintaining our beautiful countryside.

The big issue is tuberculosis and how we as a nation eradicate this awful disease. Successive governments have avoided this sensitive issue, but a new approach is now necessary, although what this is at present is unclear to me.

What cannot continue is 32,000 animals each year being put down with this dreadful contagious disease. This is a 33 per cent increase year on year at a cost to the UK tax payer of £108-4m a year 2008 to 2009, not at a cost to the farmer.

My farm gate is always open to anyone (and many do come) to see my contented animals of which I am proud, but I am hurt by those who don’t fully know the full picture of farming.

CHRIS LANE, Village Farm, Weston Road, Bletchingdon