......I would like to play devil's advocate. However, before doing so I will point out that I think the culling is wrong, it should never have happened and ALL the susceptible livestock in this country should have been vaccinated at the outset, and either been treated or humanely killed as appropriate of they succumbed.

A number of very harsh words have been said about those involved in the culls and I think it is wrong to treat everyone the same. There have been many atrocities committed, but putting it into perspective, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the cull, it would appear that the majority of animals have been treated in as humane a way as possible given the circumstances. As so many people have said, there are good and bad in every walk of life. Perhaps vets feel that what they are doing is wrong, but if they leave they will be replaced by someone who will not be so humane. The army and police really have no alternative. Lorry drivers (and I can speak with a good deal of authority on this subject) have been contracted to remove the carcasses. Once the animals have been killed, something has to be done with them. In many cases they are owner drivers who have had just as bad a time as the farmers in recent years - all their problems were aired last September - many are in hock up to their ears and have got to the stage that they will take on anything to try and keep their businesses from going under. Even the lower echelons of Maff are just doing what they're employed to do. I am sure most of us have been asked to do something we do not agree with at some stage during our lives, but if we have a home, family, mortgage we have to get on with it.

No, the problem is right at the top, and this is where we should be aiming our efforts, not at the poor b.......ers who are doing the work . Vaccination should be the priority. 95% of the population still think that fmd is a killer disease to everything it touches. 95% still think vaccination doesn't work. 95% think the farmers are being adequately compensated and will be able to restock when its all over. It is up to us to educate that 95%. I'm trying hard - it's amazing how many ways fmd can be gently introduced into an ordinary conversation.

Well I've got that off my chest - and am now wearing my tin hat . As these long rants usually end with a light bit, here's my fav. agricultural joke (heard on radio 4 some time ago.) Farmer in a barn calving. Small son creeps in and hides behind a stall, eyes getting bigger and bigger as the calf emerges. Finally can contain himself no longer. "Dad, whatever speed was that calf doing to get that far up the cow?"