US Farming Standards Bleed Over To UK

When you think of farming you most-likely get that perceived notion of wide open fields that pioneered the use of rearing livestock, but according to Reddit, an online report published on theGuardian, that vision you have has drastically changed.

Annually, more and more animal facilities are currently being built or existing ones extended. The argument for these mega-farms is that consumers can benefit from lower prices, but animal welfare groups say the devil is in the details.

Modernized farming or “factory farming” opened the doors to lots of problems like mass breeding, growth promoters, and the overuse of antibiotics given to animals. According to a spokeswoman for Compassion in World Farming, Emma Slawinski, “Antibiotics are regularly fed to livestock via food and water to decrease the risk of disease.” In fact, antibiotics became more of a prophylactic use to wipe out any diseases among livestock, however, its overuse made bacteria more resistant. Over the years, multi-resistant bacteria has popped up. And problems can fall through the cracks, like sick livestock, because rarely are individual animals treated. If a chicken, pig or cow falls ill in the pen, with a resistant disease, it may not show obvious signs of illness which can be transferred.

Now, European countries are worried that foreign trade pressures could force British farmers to adopt US farming practices, opening the door to lower standards. The Guardian reports that there are approximately 789 factory farms in the UK, and most are owned and operated by foreign multi-corporations. After Brexit, the UK agricultural businesses were open to customs rules of the World Trade Organization. This caused a disruption to the 800 or so European laws covering wildlife, water quality, agriculture, and fishing, that must be transposed into national law. The removal of farming subsidies and labor shortages have contributed to the UK adopting many US agricultural standards. And while the British government maintains they will protect animal welfare to uphold public confidence, things have already begun to change.

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