The government is promising a new strategy to minimise damage from floods and other extreme weather conditions. This must include preparing to protect animals.

Throughout recent weeks, animal victims of the floods have barely warranted a mention even though many animals' lives have been lost.

Pets have drowned in their homes and farmed animals have suffered and died in fields and barns. There are reports of sheep drowning and in Herefordshire this month, 35,000 pheasant poults drowned in one hour when a river burst its banks.

Farmed animals who survived the deluge are still suffering its effects. Cows are being locked in sheds for even longer periods than usual, or are forced to stand in sodden fields, thereby increasing their risk of infection and lameness.

Extremes of weather already kill farmed animals every year with lambs dying from hypothermia and chickens, pigs and other animals dying from heat stress. As our climate changes and weather patterns become more extreme, animal suffering is set to increase.

Anyone who feels anger or sadness over this scenario can simply opt out by not buying or consuming animal products. Free information and support is available from Animal Aid.

Kate Fowler-Reeves, Head of Campaigns, Animal Aid, The Old Chapel Bradford Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1AW