As bird flu approaches our shores, national campaign group Animal Aid fears an irrational killing spree will unfold.

We have written to Defra demanding they set out which animals will be killed, under what circumstances and by what method, in an attempt to control the disease.

Animal Aid characterises the Government's response to the 2001 foot and mouth crisis as incompetent and callous. Sheep were chased across fields and shot, while there were reports of others being drenched in disinfectant before being buried alive.

With another potentially devastating disease, in the form of avian flu, rapidly approaching it is vital we avoid a repetition of that brutal fiasco. Avian flu is a disease of the intensive poultry industry.

It is as a result of the industrialised and pitiless conditions in which poultry are reared that diseases such as bird flu develop and spread.

The only way to avoid similar diseases from occurring, prevent animals from suffering and protect our health, is to put an end to such exploitation.

Kelly Slade Campaigns Officer Animal Aid