IN HIS letter condemning the world class conservation of heather moorland for red grouse, Animal Aid’s Andrew Tyler reveals a woeful but more likely wilful ignorance of the subject (Oxford Mail, July 30).

Vast areas of our agriculturally-poor heather-clad uplands have been awarded Site of Special Scientific Interest status by the Government and Special Protected Area and Special Area of Conservation status by the EU, in recognition of the contribution they make to sustaining wildlife – particularly endangered wading birds – on our crowded island. Managed heather and the peat on which it grows lock up vast amounts of carbon dioxide which helps preventing further global warming.

Mr Tyler suggests that there’s something wrong with controlling predators on the moors, yet the RSPB itself engages in such practices, where necessary.

Left unmanaged these areas would very likely be covered in toxic bracken, or would burn to a crisp in uncontrolled summer wildfires.

We should be grateful that these lovingly managed moors with all their conservation benefits are maintained by committed individuals at virtually no cost to the taxpayer.

It might interest readers to know that Mr Tyler’s organisation believes in the perverse ideology of ‘animal rights’, which holds that the life of an animal is morally equivalent to that of a human being.

Campaigners like him would stop us eating meat, enjoying dairy products and benefiting from safe medicines.