Many years after the Foot and Mouth epidemic that saw thousands of cows on barbecues the length and breadth of Britain, scientists have finally isolated the source of the outbreak.
"There had been many theories as to the source," said Simon Simples, head of the Agriculture and Fisheries team compiling the research. "We blamed the Belgians, the wind, ramblers and terrorism. None of these were right, although the Belgians paid us just in case."
It has now been discovered that what scientists thought was foot and mouth was actually cabbage intolerance in cattle.
"We hadn't realised," said Simples. "But cows are allergic to cabbage."
The symptoms of cabbage intolerance turn out to be identical to those of foot and mouth, but can be cured by a diet of cauliflower and carrots instead of taking every cow in a seventy mile radius and setting fire to it whether it was infected or not.
"At the time," said Simples. "We thought it better to be safe than sorry. In hindsight, it turns out we were not being safe, and now we're sorry."
Chemicals in the leaves of cabbages cause cows to drool, walk as though their feet are tender, shiver and have a raised temperature. The exact symptoms of foot and mouth.
"We know now that there is a way to distinguish between cabbage intolerance and foot and mouth disease," said Simples. "If the cow farts a disgusting stewed cabbage smell, then it's cabbage intolerance, if they don't then it's foot and mouth."
Unfortunately, this means vets will have to sniff a cows arse in order to determine the cause of the symptoms.
It is not currently expected that the British will give the money back to the Belgians, and they've not asked for it.