Acclaimed actor Jerome Flynn has joined campaigners taking legal action against the UK government to ban factory farming.
The Game of Thrones star is an ambassador for Scrap Factory Farming – led by renowned human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield QC.
Non-profit Humane Being is behind the campaign – which is crowdfunding the £60,000 needed for the judicial review of government policy.
It is an entirely volunteer-run initiative that calls for an end of intensive farming methods to prevent further pandemics.
In a statement sent to PBN, Flynn said: “It is starkly clear to me that there cannot be a future for mankind in a world where factory farms still exist.
“This is our time now to put things right…”
Last year, lawyers acting for Humane Being wrote to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It queried the government’s plans regarding factory farming and related threats to human health.
However, the organization says Defra’s response ‘played down’ the issues linked to factory farming.
Now, the legal team has filed the court action and papers have been served to Defra.
‘Disease is rife’
Dr. Alice Brough is a former pig veterinarian and co-claimant to the legal challenge. She added: “Having worked for several years in one of the UK’s most intensive livestock sectors… I have seen the problems with factory farming first-hand.
“The systems can be extremely stressful, unhygienic, and inappropriate for animals’ needs.
“Disease is rife, including those with pandemic potential, and excessive antibiotic use inevitable.
“This overuse contributes to antibiotic resistance which is already causing 700,000 human deaths globally each year; by 2050, this number is forecast by the World Health Organisation to reach 10 million if we continue on our current path.
“This challenge is vital to address some of the most pressing issues faced by humanity today, focussing on prevention rather than waiting for disaster to strike before responding.”
‘A pandemics timebomb’
David Finney, a spokesperson for Scrap Factory Farming, said: “We’re sitting on a pandemics timebomb.
“Three out of every four new and emerging diseases in people come from animals.
“The cramped, unhygienic conditions on UK factory farms are the perfect breeding ground for these diseases and condemn more than half a billion animals each year to a life of suffering and sickness.
“We may get control of COVID-19, but our government is doing nothing to address the root causes of zoonotic influenza.”
Finney then concluded: “Between November 2020 and April 2021 there were more than 25 outbreaks of Avian Flu reported on UK farms.
“If we fail to ban factory farming, experts say it will not be a matter of if there will be another pandemic, but when.”