Coalition of MPs urge UK Prime Minister to ‘ban factory farming now’

Read Time:   |  25th March 2021

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A coalition of MPs across the SNP, Green Party, Labour and Liberal Democrats are urging the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban factory farming.

Inspired by vegan charity Viva!, 16 MPs from the SNP, Green Party, Labour and Liberal Democrats are urging the Prime Minister to ban factory farming in the UK for good.

The motion raises concerns over mass animal suffering, the rise of antibiotic resistance, and the spread of zoonotic diseases within factory farm settings.

In fact, there are at least 1,674 factory farms in the UK, with almost 800 of these classed as ‘megafarms’. On these farms, around one billion animals are exposed to deplorable factory farm conditions every year.

Within the motion, the supporting MPs have criticised practices such as the confinement of pregnant sows in farrowing crates, and the selective breeding of broiler chickens, ducks and turkeys. They have also condemned the routine mutilation of egg-laying hens and piglets, and the lack of grazing for dairy cows.

The MPs also warned that 3 in 4 of the world’s new or emerging diseases come from animals, with factory farm settings providing the perfect environment for these to develop and thrive.

Before Covid-19, over 200 zoonotic diseases caused 2.5 billion cases of human illness and 2.7 million deaths a year worldwide.

The public appears to agree with the motion, as a poll carried out in January 2021 found that 9 in 10 Brits wanted a ban on factory farming due to concerns of the spread of lethal viruses.

‘Outlaw the abhorrent practice’

Speaking in a statement sent to Vegan Food and Living, Viva! Director Juliet Gellatley explained:

“No country can claim to be a world leader in animal welfare and continue to allow the practice of intensive factory farming.

“Aside from the issues of animal welfare, it holds a very real and inherent risk of the spread and mutation of potentially lethal viruses.

“We strongly urge the Government to listen to Parliament and the will of the people, and outlaw the abhorrent practice of factory farming in the UK for good.”

A roundtable discussion is set for the 15th of April, to explore how the UK can become one of the first countries to ban factory farming.
This will be attended by Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale, Labour MP Nadia Whittome and SNP’s Dr Lisa Cameron. 

Interested in learning more about the spread of zoonotic diseases in factory farms?
Read our article on Bird flu: How factory farming is helping spread this killer disease.

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