Letters to the editor of your local paper

Writing a letter to your local paper can be a great way to challenge misinformation about wildlife that can be spread in the media, and just to speak out in defense of wild animals. Below are a few template letters you can adapt and use.

If you are having difficulty locating the email address for your local newspaper, please email info@animalaid.org.uk or search the Media UK website.

Remember to include your name and address in full, along with a contact phone number at the end of your letter,  or it may have no chance of being printed. 


Grey Squirrel

Dear Letters Editor

Around 17000 species are currently threatened worldwide with extinction but the red squirrel is not one of them. In fact, across their wide range – which stretches from Scandinavia to Italy and from Ireland to Korea – red squirrels are doing well. Killing grey squirrels in an attempt to ‘preserve’ reds is disingenuous and unnecessary, and the methods used – shooting or clubbing over the head – are barbaric. It is also a tremendous waste of valuable conservation money that could be used to help species in genuine need.


Dear Letters Editor

Rats are highly intelligent and clean animals who are tempted into suburban gardens often because of debris beneath bird feeders and tables. To kill them for simply trying to feed themselves from the mess that people have created is intolerant and unfair. Rats are not to be feared, but anyone preferring their gardens rodent-free should tackle the problem at the cause, and use humane deterrence methods so the rats move on of their own accord. If rats are killed using methods such as poisons, they are likely to swiftly be replaced by other rats. For advice on how to deter mice and rats, email info@animalaid.org.uk.  


Dear Letters Editor

Culling pigeons is neither an effective nor a humane way to control their numbers. Such culls inevitably have to be conducted over and over again, as new birds move in when others have been killed. This is, no doubt, how the multi-million pound pest control industry ensures its profits stay high. Animal Aid urges any organisations that are considering/undergoing a pigeon cull to instead seek out long-term, effective and humane solutions such as deterrence spikes on the edges of buildings, balloon kites, and properly fitted humane netting. 


Dear Letters Editor

 The badger cull in Britain is a disgrace. Around 20,000 badgers were killed last year, but cases of bovine TB have significantly risen, demonstrating how absurd this cull is. It is extremely worrying that the government would continue a practice despite clear scientific evidence of its ineffectiveness.

If the government really wants to reduce the incidence of TB – and other diseases – in farmed animals, it needs to: generally improve the animals’ living conditions, because stressed animals are more vulnerable to disease; close down overcrowded intensive farms where disease spreads rapidly; and ban long-distance transportation of animals as this can turn a small local outbreak into a national – or international – disaster. It should also ensure that strict biosecurity was observed on farms and at markets.