AS Remembrance Day approaches, it is important not only to remember the human victims of war, but also the animals who have been used for detection, scouting and rescue, as messengers, as beasts of burden and on the front line.

Vast numbers of animals – in farms and zoos, for instance – continue to be innocent by-stander victims when conflicts start.

Meanwhile, in secret UK Ministry of Defence research laboratories, thousands of animals suffer and die each year when they are infected with biological or chemical agents, or deliberately shot or otherwise harmed.

To commemorate all the animal victims, Animal Aid has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red or white ones, as a reminder that both humans and animals have been – and continue to be – victims of war.

The purple poppies cost £1 each (including postage and packing) and are available from or by calling 01732 364546, ext. 231.

Karin Watts, Purple Poppy Co-ordinator, Animal Aid Tonbridge, Kent.