Lucy Watson and Dr Michael Greger call for factory farming ban to avoid next pandemic

Read Time:   |  8th June 2020

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Animal advocacy group Open Cages is calling on the UK government to ban factory farming if we are to avoid future pandemics after COVID-19.


With experts warning that a catastrophic pandemic could follow if current intensive farming practices are not addressed, Open Cages has launched its new Ban Factory Farms campaign.

The new campaign follows calls for an end to factory farming to improve overall public health to prevent future global health disasters after COVID-19 was thought to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Experts and campaigners argue that the cramped, unsanitary conditions at factory farms make them perfect breeding grounds for disease.

Vegan entrepreneur and cookbook author Lucy Watson has joined the campaign in calling for a ban on intensive ‘factory farming’ in the UK for the safety of people and animals.

The Made In Chelsea star said: “For years I’ve been against factory farming – the cruel industry that causes suffering in millions of animals every year. And now, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that keeping so many animals in dirty, cramped conditions isn’t just inhumane – it is a danger to public health.

“That’s why I’m joining Open Cages in calling on the UK government to phase out factory farming, for the safety of people and animals.”

Open Cages are also teaming up with physician and best-selling author Dr Michael Greger whose latest book How to Survive a Pandemic explores the viruses that cause pandemics and how to face them.


Dr Greger warns that: “If you want to create catastrophic pandemics, then build factory farms. When you cram thousands of chronically stressed animals into crowded, filthy, indoor facilities, you create a cocktail for a deadly virus.”

Commenting on the campaign, Dr Greger warns, “COVID-19 has shown us how devastating an animal-born outbreak can be. But the best way for a Government to properly protect its people against future pandemics, is to end factory farming. I urge the UK Government to take steps to do so immediately, and responsibly address this crisis waiting to happen.”

Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages, said: “Animals are not machines, and yet that’s how we treat them. The British public is beginning to see that the animals we consume live in filthy, overcrowded factories where life is not worth living. And to top it all off, factory farms are no good for humanity at all.

“Let’s be world leaders and have the courage to work together after COVID-19. Let’s build a better future for all and ban factory farms.”

Open Cages and the campaigners are calling on the UK Government to implement a long term plan to end factory farming.

The petition can be found here.

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