Reducing ‘Excessive’ Meat Consumption Could Lower Pandemic Risk, Say Experts

Experts have also argued a tax on meat should be considered. But only where there is a 'clear link to high pandemic risk'


1 Minutes Read

A woman refusing meat - which has been linked to past pandemics Meat has been described as a 'driver of pandemic risk' - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission

Reducing ‘excessive’ consumption of meat from livestock production could ‘significantly’ lower the risk of a pandemic, a new reports states.

The report, titled IPBES Workshop On Biodiversity and Pandemics, features findings from more than 20 experts.

It also suggests a tax on meat should also be considered. But only where there is a ‘clear link to high pandemic risk’. 

‘A driver of pandemic risk’

According to iNews, Dr. Peter Daszak, one of the scientists behind the report, says: “[Meat is] bad for our health. We know that.

“It’s also unsustainable in terms of its environmental impact [and] a driver of pandemic risk…

“We can continue to eat meat… But we need to do it in a way that is far more sustainable if we want to get rid of pandemics.”

Meat tax

Earlier this year, the U.K government was urged to implement a tax on meat and dairy by Animal-rights charity PETA

The proposal aims to ‘lessen the economic fallout after COVID-19‘ and help combat the climate crisis.

PETA wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak suggesting the revenue from such a tax could be used to ease the burden on the NHS and help farmers transition away from meat and dairy to more climate-friendly arable ventures.

PETA notes that pandemic outbreaks such as swine flu, avian flu, SARS, HIV, and foot-and-mouth disease have stemmed from capturing wild animals or farming animals for food.

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