SIR – Farmers, badgers and the whole country have this week been badly let down by plans for trials which effectively legitimise the slaughter of badgers.

Government proposals for pilot culls are the worst possible outcome and will do nothing to halt the spread of bovine TB.

All the facts state that culling will not reduce TB and famers will be forced to pay twice for this cull – once for the cull and again for its failure.

No one is disputing that bovine TB must be controlled but the Government has ignored the science and the wishes of the public – only 16 per cent of whom support a cull – in favour of botched plans which will have serious repercussions.

Allowing the killing of badgers in our countryside will result in thousands of wounded badgers and could in fact add to the spread of this disease as they disperse.

Culling is not the answer and sadly it is not only the badger which will pay the price of this mistake.

Chief Executive League Against Cruel Sports