Once again, the search is on for the bad guys and the smoking gun evidence in regard to the new outbreak of foot and mouth.

Whether a research lab, a drug company or Defra end up being nailed by the media or by any subsequent enquiry, this latest farmed animal disease outbreak should surprise no-one.

It amounts to business as usual'.

Avian flu is hardly a distant memory and simmering on the back burner is bovine TB.

Other recent and current disease panics include salmonella, campylobacter, swine fever, pig wasting disease and BSE.

The lesson we must learn and quickly is that if animals are treated like objects to be exploited for meat, milk and eggs, then they will suffer high levels of infectious and other diseases.

Modern animal farming methods are an abomination.

They are cruel, unhealthy, environmentally destructive and an insult to any human society that claims to be civilised.

The remedy is not vaccines or public enquiries but for the public to abandon their addiction to meat and dairy products, and to adopt a non-animal diet.

Kate Fowler-Reeves Head of Campaigns Animal Aid The Old Chapel Bradford Street Tonbridge Kent