GOALS for our Campaign
For the UK Government to urgently phase out animal factory farming by 2025 and support farmers in their transition to a sustainable food system that protects animals, people, and the planet.
Based on extensive research, this is our definition of Factory Farming:
Factory Farming includes systems in which animals are:
- routinely confined in cages, crates or crowded areas; OR
- selectively bred for accelerated and harmful growth rates/yields; OR
- unable to express their range of strongly motivated natural behaviours; OR
- routinely mutilated to counteract the negative welfare outcomes of intensive farming.
NOTE: 1) factory farms have high stocking densities, often in barren and unnatural conditions
WHY did factory farming come about?
In a nutshell: to minimise cost and maximise productivity.
In 1947, after World War, II, the Agriculture Act triggered the era of factory farming in Britain with the focus on increased production and greater output, according to BBC Home On This Day article: “Factory farming in Britain began with the Agriculture Act of 1947 which granted subsidies to farmers to encourage greater output by introducing new technology, specialisation and improved breeding and management of animals.” Currently it is reported that the UK has an estimated 800 “mega-farms”, an increase over 26% since 2011. The biggest mega-farms house more than a million chickens, 20,000 pigs or 2,000 cattle. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/farm-climate-change-animals-drone-footage-video-a8804661.html
WHAT are the consequences and impacts of factory farming?
In a nutshell: health risks, environmental damage, and animal suffering
- Increased risk of disease (e.g., swine flu, avian flu, salmonella etc.)
- Increased risk of antibiotic resistance (i.e., misuse/overuse of antibiotics on farmed animals)
- Contribution to climate change (e.g., methane from cattle/sheep/goats + nitrous oxide from animal waste)
- Contribution to pollution (ammonia from cattle, chickens, pigs which affects air quality and human health)
- Prevention of meaningful inspections (e.g., high numbers/densities of animals can make it difficult for thorough health and environmental inspections to take place)
HOW can factory farming be phased out?
- With an immediate moratorium on animal factory farm planning applications to ensure no new factory farms, or extensions (**) to existing ones, are built,
- The cessation of subsidies for animal factory farms,
- Significant governmental support for farmers to transition to sustainable farming practices that protect animals, people, and the planet,
- Ensuring that any reduction in UK production is not replaced with imported farmed animals or animal products.
(** ‘extensions’ to include facilities located within three miles of an existing factory farm and under common ownership or control).