Around 85 percent of Brits want an ‘urgent’ ban on factory farming amid pandemic fears, according to a new poll.
Vegan charity Viva! commissioned the OnePoll which quizzed 2,000 adults.
Also, 31 percent are planning ‘to slash their meat consumption or go vegan in 2021 amid COVID-19 concerns’.
This ties in with data from Viva!. It said: “Today three in four of the world’s new or emerging infectious diseases such as coronavirus come from animals- mainly from factory farming and the trade in wildlife.”
Conditions for disease
Experts at the European Food Safety Agency say ‘animals reared in high-stress environments such as factory farms are more likely to contract viral infections’.
Viva! adds that some two-thirds of farmed animals (about 50 billion) are factory farmed worldwide every year.
It adds: “The Scientific task force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds states that outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu are typically associated with poultry farming.”
Indeed, last month Defra confirmed a UK case of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu strain.
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Viva! Director Juliet Gellatley said: “Experts agree that factory farming is one of the leading causes of the mutation and spread of killer viruses between animals and humans.
“Whitehall is playing Russian Roulette with the lives of millions of Britons by continuing to permit farmers to cram thousands of animals together in despicable conditions.
“Today the Great British Public has spoken. It’s time to end factory farming before it ends us.”
‘Could not be clearer’
Senior Health Researcher, Dr. Justine Butler 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.”