The factory farming of animals results in many problems for the animals confined on them, for the environment and for humans.
SCRAP is an acronym that tries to capture some of the key themes.
S = suffering of animals - confined, mutilated, stressed, denied normal lives and bred for yield not health
C = climate chaos - farmed animals outnumber humans 10 to 1 and contribute to emissions
R - ravaging the planet - contributing to water pollution and deforestation. 90% of the Amazon deforestation is to enable cattle grazing, which is often followed by planting soya- 70& of which goes into farmed animal feed. Our environmental crises are intrinsically linked to human health. The deterioration of our planet will see an increase in illnesses, deaths, and forced migration. Polluted air, unsafe drinking water, crop failures, and natural disasters including extreme weather events and wildfires are increasingly prevalent. Scientists are clear that factory farming fuels emissions; pollutes water, land, and air; and contributes to deforestation. Unless we rapidly phase out factory farming, we risk failing to meet our carbon targets
A - antibiotic resistance - described as the "silent pandemic" and responsible for 1.27 million deaths annually. Factory farms are often hot beds of disease and high levels of antibiotics are administered routinely and to groups, rather than individual sick animals
Pandemics and disease- 3 out of 4 emerging diseases come from animals. We must look to preventing the next pandemic before it is too late. Wet markets and factory farms are similar and studies show that 56% of avian flu epidemics originated on commercial poultry farms (70 times more than wet markets). Conditions on factory farms – cramped, unhygienic, poorly ventilated facilities with densely-packed, immuno-compromised, and genetically similar animals – provide the prefect breeding ground for these zoonoses. Scientists have warned that Covid-19 is a “dress rehearsal” for worse to come.
There are several fully referenced resources we would love you to read and share!
There is no formal definition of factory farming but we would all know a factory farm if we saw it.
Based on extensive research with several other NGOs and scientific experts, and our teams’ experience of UK farming practices, this is the description of Factory Farming we use:
Factory Farming includes systems in which animals are subjected to ANY of the following:
1) routinely confined in cages, crates or crowded areas
2) selectively bred for accelerated and harmful growth rates/yields
3) unable to express their range of strongly motivated natural behaviours
4) routinely mutilated to counteract the negative welfare outcomes of intensive farming
We took our case to UK courts and and to the European Court of Human Rights in a world first legal challenge.
Our chances were slim but someone, somewhere had to take the first ever case and as the UK Government has failed to take the opportunity to address the risks of factory farming, we are committed to fighting on for animals, people and the planet..
The legal case – what we believe
We believe that - in failing to (i) properly assess, (ii) inform the public about, and/or (iii) act against these clear risks to human health, the Defendant is in breach of his positive obligations under Articles 2, 3 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (“ECHR”) to protect the right to life, freedom from inhumane treatment, and respect for private life and acts unlawfully in violation of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”).
To summarise, the grounds for review include irrationality (failure to rationally act) and Violation of the positive obligations in Articles 2,3 and 8 of the ECHR.
Article 2 (Right to Life),requires the state to take positive measures to prevent, or to avert, a risk (which it knows or ought to know) of the violation of the right to life e.g. deaths causes due to a future pandemic.
Article 3 (Prohibition of Torture), obliges the state to take reasonable measures to prevent ill-treatment of which the authorities knew or ought to have known e.g. the state’s readiness to investigate systemic issues such as the impact of factory farming on climate change, which could consequently impact on the physical and psychological health of individuals
Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) which affirms that the states is under obligation to ensure, for persons within their jurisdiction, effective respect for private life which includes the physical and psychological integrity of a person e.g. to prevent polluting emissions or other environmental impacts of factory farming which could impact on the health of the population.
This is a human rights case which challenges the failure of the UK government to fulfil their duty to ensure that the risks of zoonotic disease outbreak and increasing antibiotic resistance are safeguarded against to the greatest extent possible. It also raises the issue of the impact of factory farming on global emissions which in turn impacts human health and life itself.
The asks we made in the case were simple, for a full assessment of the risks posed by factory farming to be conducted and published, detailing appropriate safeguards which would be put in place to protect the public. Given that the UK has just experienced a record-breaking season of avian flu, we had hoped that the government would take this opportunity to review the risks. However, it is now clear that we need to escalate our concerns.
We received notice that our UK application and appeal had not been successful . One of the reasons given for the refusal stated that ‘Whether intensive farming practices should be banned is a political question ill-suited to judicial review’, but this in itself reflects an inaccurate understanding of the case itself. Whilst our wider campaign outside of the legal challenge calls for the scrapping of factory farming, this is indeed not possible through a judicial review, but this is not what the case calls for.
Upon receiving this outcome, our legal team also noted that based on timescales of submissions, it was evident that a substantial amount of submitted material could not have been read. Given that this indicates to us a lack of care, sense of duty or awareness of the seriousness of the risks to human health, we took our case to its final stage at the European Court of Human Rights.
We were turned down on the grounds that, as campaigners, none of the claimants had been sufficiently impacted by factory farming....... so do let us know of anyone who has been impacted and if one of us dies from avian flu - we'll be sure to pop back to earth for long enough to take a case!
As well as the legal challenge, the SFF team try to spot and object to planning applications for factory farms. However, we are a small group of volunteers and can only have eyes in so many places so do alert us to planning applications near you for farms that fit our definition of factory farming. If we are able to to we will try and rally objections from our followers too.
We work hard to find out information and develop resources. We've submitted FOIs and tracked Government data on avian 'flu . You can see the map of UK factory farms on the Near You page and other evidence based information on the resources page. The biggest compliment you can give us is using these materials. In addition, if you find some new information you think we should know about - let us know!
Scrap Factory Farming is a HUMANE BEING campaign.
We want to help create a more humane and sustainable future for the planet, humans and animals by taking action that produces results.
The Humane Being website contains resources and information to help people live a kinder life
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals to
SCRAP FACTORY FARMING