SIR – The killing of badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire has not begun, and may not take place for some months yet.

This remains a highly-unpopular policy, and the recent vote in parliament, where MPs were heavily whipped to turn up and vote along party lines, was both undemocratic and an indicator of how desperate this Government is not to perform a U-turn.

Scientists tell us this cull won’t bring down rates of TB in cows, but these pilot culls are not even intended to. The stated aim is to find out whether shooting free-running badgers is safe, effective in killing 70 per cent of all badgers, and humane.

The Government admitted that humaneness will be determined by monitoring the sounds made by dying badgers.

Surprisingly, once killed, badgers will not even be tested to see whether they were infected. The entire process is hopelessly flawed. Thankfully, there is still time to stop the cull.

Kate Fowler, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent