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A leading plant-based doctor and infectious disease expert is calling on the U.K. government to ban factory farming.
Dr. Michael Greger, who has a background in infectious disease, is an internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He is the author of Bird Flu: A Virus Of Our Own Hatching, which looks at infectious diseases and human’s role in them. His latest book is How To Survive A Pandemic.*
Now Dr. Greger has partnered advocacy organization Open Cages to promote its Ban Factory Farms campaigns, which says experts warnthat a ‘catastrophic pandemic could follow after COVID-19 if current intensive farming practices are not addressed’.
According to Open Cages, 70 percent of all farmed animals in the UK are reared in factory farms – which it says involve ‘overcrowded, filthy conditions’ –
The organization adds that the Swine flu pandemic of 2009, which may have killed approximately 120,000-250,000 people, ‘has since been traced to an intensive pig farm in Mexico’.
It says its worry is that ‘a super pathogen could emerge at any time’ – but much of the Government’s focus has been on treatment, such as through biosecurity and animal culling in an outbreak, rather than preventing disease in the first place.
‘A cocktail for a deadly virus’
“If you want to create catastrophic pandemics, then build factory farms. When you cram thousands of chronically stressed animals into crowded, filthy, indoor facilities, you create a cocktail for a deadly virus,” Dr. Greger said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
“COVID-19 has shown us how devastating an animal-born outbreak can be. But the best way for a Government to properly protect its people against future pandemics, is to end factory farming. I urge the UK Government to take steps to do so immediately, and responsibly address this crisis waiting to happen.”
‘Building a better future’
Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages, added: “Animals are not machines, and yet that’s how we treat them. The British public is beginning to see that the animals we consume live in filthy, overcrowded factories where life is not worth living.
“And to top it all off, factory farms are no good for humanity at all. Let’s be world leaders and have the courage to work together after COVID-19. Let’s build a better future for all and ban factory farms.”
You can find out more about the campaign to ban factory farming here
*How To Survive A Pandemic is available on Kindle and in audiobook format, and in paperback from August 20.