PETA hopes the horse meat crisis will encourage consumers to consider veganism.

The animal welfare organisation is preparing an outdoor campaign promoting veganism. It features an animal that is a cross between a horse and a cow and reads: “If you wouldn’t eat a horse, why eat a cow? Go vegan.”

Mimi Bekhechi, associate director at PETA, says: “Brits who say ‘neigh’ to horse meat do so because they find ponies loveable, but lambs, pigs, chickens and others are killed for food without many people so much as batting an eyelid or considering their ordeal.

It follows the latest discovery that some Findus branded products contained up to 100 per cent horse meat DNA. Industry experts have urged supermarkets and food manufacturers to take steps to reassure customers over the quality and safety of food products or risk a widespread decline in confidence.