Factory farming must be stopped if it is not in the best interests of people and pigs.
World Animal Protection has taught me a lot about factory farming. It causes horrific cruelty to defenseless pigs. Many mother pigs are forced into cages and surrounded by their waste in dark, filthy warehouses. Their tails are trimmed and their young taken away.
Under the illusion that animals don’t feel pain, they are being pushed to their limits. They are treated as cogs in an automated machine and given only the minimum of care to keep them alive.
I have been able to see the sinister side of modern factory farming. The indiscriminate and cruel treatment of pigs, among other animals, is what keeps it afloat. The era of superbugs has brought about a serious threat to the planet, animals and people.
People are calling for change, and the industry is finally waking up from its sleep. Slowly, animals are being freed from their cages and allowed to roam and socialize. Factory farming isn’t over. It is far from over.
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The problem with antibiotics
Factory farming is using a new method to produce cheap meat.
This band-aid allows farm animals to grow rapidly to their’market weight’ without getting sick, thus reducing costs for large businesses.
Antibiotics are the best band-aid.
131,000 tonnes of antibiotics are administered annually to farm animals. Most of this is in their food and water. By 2030, this number will reach 200,000 tonnes.
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Superbugs that can cause death
Superbugs are bacteria that can’t be treated with medicine. This is because of the massive overuse antibiotics. Superbugs can be introduced to the food chain through the consumption of meat, which is why many antibiotics are essential for human medicine.
Superbugs are responsible worldwide for 700,000. They are projected to increase to ten million deaths annually by 2050. Children and the elderly are most at risk, as is anyone who works with farm animals.
Environmental contamination is also evident with superbugs and antibiotic residues being found in the water around factory farms all over the globe.
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We demand that there be change
Recent polling in Australia, Thailand, and Brazil revealed that 72% of respondents were not aware that pigs are routinely administered antibiotics. Many people found images of the conditions in which pigs live “upsetting”, “wrong”, or “shocking” when shown.
Four out of five respondents were concerned about the impact of routine antibiotic use in agriculture on their health as consumers. Our work with top pork producers has shown that animals in higher welfare conditions are less stressed and require fewer antibiotics.
Our new report, “Leading The Way: Global Pig Producers Say No to Sow Stalls”, shows that pigs can be freed from their cages and placed in groups with the opportunity to exhibit natural behaviour. This is both good for them and for businesses.
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Supermarkets need to act
Pork is big business. Supermarkets spend millions every year to source pork from around the globe. They have a huge influence on how pigs are raised and have a responsibility for improving production for both pigs as well as people.
Supermarkets need to talk to their meat suppliers to learn how they can help farms transition to higher welfare systems while still ensuring responsible use of antibiotics.
Now that my eyes are opened, I see how factory farming is a failure for everyone. We have the right not to be offended and the right demand better.
Sign the pledge to support pigs
We are working with producers to create higher welfare systems that allow pigs to be kept in cages and social groups.
It is possible to make a positive impact. Take our pledge and make sure supermarkets promise to carry pork from welfare-assured farms.
We can work together to get supermarkets to buy pork from right-raised pigs.