MADAM - I have to confess that I don't pretend to be an expert on TB but was interested to note that even Defra states that cow TB can infect 'badgers, deer, goats, pigs, camelids (llamas and alpacas), dogs and cats, as well as many other mammals'.

And of course TB has been around for centuries!

Which raises the question about why all of the effort is placed on blaming the badger.

The BBC wildlife website states "Badgers are social creatures and live together in large underground setts, comprised of a series of interlocking tunnels with nest chambers, toilets and several entrances. ....the resulting huge tunnel systems are, in some cases, centuries old."

Or even more simply they don't move about much.

So if badgers are unlikely to spread TB from farm to farm this raises questions about where the TB comes from to infect the badgers.

Deer are one of the wild animal populations that are acknowledged to roam over quite wide distances.

The Deer Initiative for example claim they are more widespread than at any time in the last 1,000 years and suggest that populations have increased in recent years.

Odd that sounds like the same sort of time where farms.

The problem is that apart from one desk top study, no research work on the impact of deer on TB has been funded by Defra.

A start would be for Defra to routinely test dead animals from both road kills and when they are killed by landowners.

Chas Townley Uplands