In response to your recent headlines concerning attacks on badgers in Ryedale, a few comments are necessary.

First of all, to try to describe anyone who seeks to persecute, injure and kill any wild creature is a difficult task but anyway, I’ll do my best.

The people who sought out, assaulted, mutilated and killed the badgers mentioned in your articles are in my opinion a sub-species of humanity and pathologically incapable of seeing beyond their narrow, sadistic view of nature as something to be used and abused for their own selfish and cruel ends.

So what do we, the majority of sane and responsible town and country dwellers, do about it all?

In answer to this question, it seems to me that a combination of tougher legislation, fines (and in extreme cases of cruelty, imprisonment) need to be brought to bear on these bully boys.

This, along with an emphasis (in primary schools and elsewhere) on the importance and understanding of nature and the sanctity of and respect for all forms of life, should be made a priority for everyone and at all stages of our educational evolution.

Finally, how to actually catch these criminals, these perpetuators of death and destruction?

It was suggested by Jean Thorpe that a badger farm watch network needs to be installed. I agree, whilst bearing in mind that some farmers also have prejudices against certain wild creatures, including badgers.

Having said that, some kind of farm watch scheme is necessary, supported by financial clout from local authorities and other bodies. In addition to the above, technology does exist to protect areas where badger setts are located in order that those monitoring them are aware of the presence of lampers/baiters in the vicinity.

Whatever happens, it seems to me that all of us need to be ever more vigilant and ever more determined to use whatever energy and knowledge we have at our disposal to stamp out these barbaric practices once and for all.