ON behalf of red squirrels, I must respond to Natalie Doran’s letter (November 30). She ignores important points in her plea regarding the possible cull of greys. Apart from not being indigenous, having been introduced from the New World in the 19th century, grey squirrels carry squirrel pox which, though harmless to them, kills red squirrels.

Greys, along with sheep and deer, are major carriers of ticks, many of which are infected with Lyme disease. I have two friends, hill walkers, who suffer from this horrible illness.

In South Ayrshire where I live, work and, yes, shoot, I have not seen a red squirrel in years but almost trip over greys on my walks in the woods. An official cull is not required, so long as my fellow country lovers continue to control the numbers of “tree rats”.

James Loch,

49 Chalmers Road,