'Could cruel disease lead to extinction?'

Letters: I wrote earlier in the year about the mountain hare population falling due to habitat destruction and killing by land owners.

Friday, 19th October 2018, 4:19 pm
Updated Friday, 19th October 2018, 5:28 pm
A reader is concerned about the future of hares in Britain

Now myxomatosis has been found in brown hares in East Anglia. When this terrible disease was introduced, it killed 99 per cent of rabbits in a couple of years. The disease originates from South American hares, and was introduced to rabbits by us, but had not affected brown hares previously. Because the numbers of hares are a fraction of what rabbits ever were, if hares are infected in the same rate as rabbits, it could cause their extinction because a potential survivor won’t find a mate.There is no restriction on hunting hares at any time of the year. Their small numbers and territorial behaviour means they aren’t a pest. How bland will our countryside become tomorrow?S Huntervia email

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refugeesIt’s Our Turn to rescue childrenThis November marks 80 years since Britain demonstrated its great humanitarian spirit by helping 10,000 child refugees escape Nazi persecution through the Kindertransport, whilst other countries just stood by.Today, tens of thousands of child refugees in Europe and across the world still need safe passage. Children continue to live in horrendous conditions, where death, disease and people trafficking are ever-present risks. Our country has a proud record of helping those in desperate need and I believe we must continue that record, not turn our back on vulnerable children.Today’s government has a responsibility to offer child refugees sanctuary, just as it did 80 years ago.I am asking councillors to get behind the Our Turn campaign, run by the charity Safe Passage and Lord Alf Dubs, pictured, himself a child of the Kindertransport. The Our Turn campaign hopes to convince the government to resettle 10,000 children over the next 10 years and is asking councils to make pledges to provide places for the children, if the government provides the funding. We can rescue 10,000 children if every council takes just three children a year. Our country has a proud tradition of welcoming child refugees fleeing persecution. The Kindertransport efforts were driven by a huge amount of public goodwill and I believe we still have that same public support today. Eighty years on, it’s our turn to show the humanitarian compassion of the Kindertransport to today’s child refugees.Hilary ReynishLeylandanimal welfareBan cruel slaughter Many hours and a lot of energy has been spent protesting about fracking, I just wish the same effort could be harnessed into protesting about non-stun slaughter. In the UK, tens of thousands of sheep, goats, cows and chickens are dying in agony every week because they were not stunned before having their throats slit. In 1935, non-stun slaughter was banned in this country because lengthy research proved it caused unnecessary suffering. To save time and money because it is faster, some large abattoirs now only carry out non-stun slaughter. Soon everyone will be eating meat from animals killed in this manner if this is allowed to continue. Please write to your MPs and ask them to support a ban on non-stun slaughter.D WalkerNelsonbrexitAll the aces are in our handsOn Brexit, where is the guts and fight we once had? Where is the resilience and spirit? It seems our negotiators have lost all pride and respect this great country once had. Threats of queuing on the M6, or planes not able to land, are pie in the sky. It must be realised these threats work both ways. All the aces are in our hands if only Theresa May and co realised before it is too late.Barrie Crowthervia email