I’m a volunteer with the non-profit organisation, Humane Being. We are running a campaign called Scrap Factory Farming and want to hold the UK Government accountable for failing to protect people from the life-threatening risks posed by factory farms. Factory farming is deadly and fuels future pandemics and the climate crisis.
Our exciting news is that last Tuesday (26th July) we filed our case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Government support of factory farming risks millions of deaths
We believe that the Government’s support of factory farming is risking millions of deaths from the climate crisis, future pandemics, and antibiotic resistance. Our legal team, headed by renowned human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, says that the Government is well aware of these risks and is failing to both inform and protect the public.
Sadly, over 70% of farm animals in the UK are kept in factory farms (the Guardian) where they spend their lives in overcrowded barns or cages. Here’s an interesting map from CIWF showing where these farms are situated.
We’re proud to say that Scrap Factory Farming has over 900 supporters, most are like yourselves and are not experts or professional people but they just want a better world for their children and grandchildren and who care about the terrible conditions our farmed animals live in and endure 24/7.
We also have the support of many celebrities including Jerome Flynn, Peter Egan and Paul Cashmore, plus scientists and experts from the UK, Australia, the USA, Sweden, Germany, Brussels, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Canada who have also supported our legal challenge.
Legal challenge at ECHR
Lorna Hackett, head of legal practice at Hackett & Dabbs, which is bringing the challenge, said of the case:
“This world-first case joins a growing list of cases before the ECHR seeking to address the climate crisis, but is unique in also addressing pandemic and antibiotic resistance risks. Unlike cases already before the court from France, Switzerland and Portugal, our challenge to the UK Government specifically identifies the climate risks posed by runaway agricultural methane emissions and deforestation.
“Factory farming at current levels is simply not compatible with the Government’s emission reduction commitments, including the Global Methane Pledge.”
Dr Alice Brough is a UK pig veterinarian and co-claimant to the legal challenge. She told us:
“Intensive farms create the perfect breeding ground for disease, including those with human pandemic potential, with thousands of stressed animals crammed into filthy environments. Due to the conditions and common practices, antibiotics are often required in excess on these farms, furthering the risk to humans. Only recently scientists found superbugs in UK meat.
“Since October 2021 there have been 116 UK outbreaks of avian influenza, an historically and currently pertinent zoonosis — almost a 400% increase on the 2020-21 season.
“The vast feed requirements for intensively farmed animals lead to devastating deforestation in other parts of the world, such as South America, and contribute significantly to the climate crisis. Every part of this practice is a ticking time bomb for our species.”
Antibiotics on farms pose a serious risk to human life
Dr. Shireen Kassam, a medical consultant supporting the campaign, added:
“We are at risk of a pandemic far worse than Covid-19. The government has plans for dealing with 750,000 deaths from a flu pandemic which history and science show is most likely to come from a commercial animal farm.
Our campaign has produced a booklet written by Jane Tredgett – founder and director of Humane Being – which contains more information about our aims and objectives. It will tell you almost everything you need to know about factory farms and their impact on us and our planet. If you’d like to support us in this, please join our Facebook page here so you can keep up with our news. You may be very surprised to learn some of the facts about factory farms.