THE sad case of Shambo, the bull slaughtered because he failed a bovine TB reactor test, reveals the callous nature of animal farming. Around 170,000 calves die in their first month of life and at least 250,000 adult cattle die or are killed annually because of conditions associated with neglect, filth and intensification. These include mastitis, diarrhoea, infertility and lameness. Those animals who do remain healthy are killed at a fraction of their natural lifespan.

Animal farming is hugely wasteful of natural resources including water and land, and contributes to 18 per cent of greenhouse gases - more than the entire global transport sector.

We must be mad to continue with this hard-hearted and short sighted habit.

Anyone wishing to make a positive change for their health, animals and the environment can contact Animal Aid for support, advice and help in going vegetarian or vegan.

KATE FOWLER-REEVES, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel, Bradford Street, Tonbridge.