WHEN the truth about the nature of dairy farming is presented in all its ugly detail, it is inevitable that farmers such as Chris Lane (Viewpoints, September 19) respond with the usual glib propaganda.

He states that his calves do not get a bullet in the brain at two or three-days-old.

We have no way of verifying that, and perhaps he gives them a few days longer, or alternatively, perhaps he sends them to the continent as part of the live export trade.

When he claims that ‘he sells milk excess to the calves’ requirements’ however, this implies that these animals are allowed to reach adulthood and this is rarely the case.

The Holstein cow, which is the standard breed utilised by the dairy industry, is designed with large udders and little muscle to maximise milk production at the expense of the animal and is therefore totally unsuited for rearing as beef.

That is why calves are slaughtered shortly after birth, or sent abroad to the veal industry.

As I said in my earlier letter, annual pregnancies are the norm and the gestation period is nine months, leaving little time for recovery.

That is why their life expectancy is a fraction of what it would be normally.

Drugs are administered on a constant basis to alleviate mastitis and other conditions.

TB in cattle was caused by the amorality of the dairy industry and was spread by movements of cattle over large areas.

The badger is now the scapegoat, despite the fact that Lord Krebs, who was the leading Government adviser to the previous Government, stating that the cull, involving the slaughter of 30-50,000 badgers, will do little to alleviate the disease and may even make matters worse.

I repeat that those who care about our wildlife should act now by drastically reducing their consumption of meat and dairy products, or boycotting them altogether.

PETER LANGLEY Windmill Road, Headington, Oxford