SIR - Bradford Council, in its zeal to protect water voles, have decided mink, right, are the problem and aim to kill as many as possible (T&A, August 9).

Rarely has a wild animal been as demonised as the North American mink or served as such a convenient scapegoat for the environmental vices of our species.

The water vole population has fallen because we have removed, damaged or polluted its riverside habitat through building, flood control measures, bank mowing, dredging, angling and the reinforcement of river banks with iron and concrete.

The article suggested Bradford is awash with hordes of mink. This is not credible. Mink live a solitary life, marking out territory a mile apart from each other. Moreover, where otters flourish, and their numbers are going up because we no longer hunt or poison them, mink do badly. We should remember mink were imported and bred for fur in factory farms. When smaller operators went out of business in the Fifties, many opened their cages and turned the animals into the British countryside.

Let's end the scapegoating and take genuine steps to remedy our own reckless and selfish behaviour.

Andrew Tyler, Director, Animal Aid, Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent