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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.

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.