Films claim factory farming bad for health

Compassion in World Farming has released a series of films claiming that ‘factory farming’ systems have an impact on human health.

“The films are available online and show many animals that have to endure horrific conditions in order to feed millions worldwide,” according to CIWF chief executive Philip Lymbery.

The latest video is the third in the series.

Entitled “Impact on our food and health” it claims factory farmed chickens have almost three times more fat than those produced 40 years ago and 25% more fat than organically-reared chickens.

“In addition, studies show that two thirds of factory farmed chickens on sale in the UK are contaminated with the food poisoning bug campylobacter, and that animals kept in these stressful conditions are more susceptible to the bacteria,” Mr Lymbery said.

“What is lesser known is that not only does factory farming cause unimaginable suffering to animals, but it also affects the quality of our food and threatens human health,” Mr Lymbery added.

But NFU director of policy Martin Haworth said that the union did not recognise the term factory farming. “Farming can be large scale, indoor, intensive, outdoor, extensive, organic – or a mix of these models.

“What’s important for the consumer to know is that the type of farming system will have been chosen to best suit the type and breed of animal being farmed, ” Mr Haworth said.

“Farmers take the issues of animal health and welfare and environmental protection very seriously. In this country there are many legal requirements and safeguards in place to ensure animals are treated well and there are schemes that support farmers in their work looking after the countryside,” he said.

“This helps us to ensure that our farm animals are produced to some of the highest standards of animal health and welfare in the world, with food available to suit all purses. Regardless of the type of farming system chosen, the welfare of the animal is always of fundamental importance to all British farmers.

“With global food security now a major issue and the demand on British farming growing, we must ensure our farming practices continue to be of the highest possible standard, and that any farmed animals are responsibly and effectively cared for,” Mr Haworth added.

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