Reading Time: < 1 minute 'Intensive farms are the perfect breeding ground for more novel viruses' Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
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The Scotsman has published an Op-Ed declaring that Scotland must become the first country in the UK to ban intensive farming

The piece is written by Juliet Gellatley – writer, animal-rights advocate, and founder of vegan charity Viva!. 

‘Breeding ground’ for disease

“The global meat, poultry, and dairy trades drive demand for high-intensity factory farming,” the piece reads.

“Intensive farms, in which tens of thousands of animals are kept in close proximity, are the perfect breeding ground for more novel viruses…”

Gellatley also points out that the majority of hens in Scotland are ‘crammed into cages in windowless sheds containing thousands of birds’.

‘There’s not a moment to lose’

She concludes: “Farming minister Fergus Ewing must urgently work to strengthen the 2006 Animal Welfare Act to outlaw intensive farming methods as a first step.

“Humankind has a big decision to make. End the curse of factory farming or risk a perpetual cycle of killer viruses. Scots cannot face yet more collective trauma. There’s not a moment to lose.”

Scotland’s view on intensive farming 

Earlier this year, Viva! commissioned a 2,000-person poll on factory farming

It found nine in 10 Britons want the government to introduce an immediate ban on intensive farming methods amid concerns over killer viruses.

Moreover, 83 percent of Scots supported the ban. The poll also shows that one in three participants are aiming to slash their consumption of animal products.

Dr. Justine Butler is a Senior Health Researcher at Viva!. In an online statement, she said: “Across the UK we are seeing outbreaks of avian flu in factory farms as well as backyard chickens.  

“The scientific evidence could not be clearer. When you farm animals intensively you risk increasing the chance of mutation and spread of dangerous viruses.”   

You can read The Scotsman’s piece here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.