Animal Aid

Is Factory Farming Making You Sick?

Posted 26 May 2010

Animal Aid has, today (Wed 26th May), released a shocking new factory farming film featuring grim scenes shot secretly in randomly-selected farms across the UK during the last three years. Scenes include young pigs looking for sustenance in a trough filled with faeces, and a bin full of dead sheep and lambs. These images support Animal Aid’s argument that modern animal farming presents a significant threat to human health, as well as an intolerable burden upon the animals themselves. The film is supported by a new booklet titled Is factory farming making you sick?

The following grim scenes feature in a new five-minute Animal Aid film released today (Wednesday, 26th May).

  • A calf no more than ten days old lying dead in a 'zero grazing' shed with blood seeping from his nose and mouth.
  • Young pigs looking for sustenance in a trough filled with faeces.
  • A piglet wandering across a floor streaked with afterbirth searching for his mother.
  • A bin full of dead sheep and lambs.

The film was shot secretly in randomly-selected farms across the UK during the last three years. The images support Animal Aid's argument that modern animal farming presents a significant threat to human health, as well as an intolerable burden upon the animals themselves. The film is supported by a new booklet called Is factory farming making you sick?, which succinctly describes 12 major diseases that start in factory farm settings but may go on to harm and even kill people. They include salmonellosis, campylobacter infection, BSE, bird flu and swine flu. Swine flu has killed more than 18,000 people around the world, while in the UK alone, it is estimated that salmonella and campylobacter are responsible for around 450,000 cases each year.

Is factory farming making you sick? was produced with the assistance of globally-recognised expert Dr Michael Greger, the Humane Society International's Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture. The 28-page, A5 booklet is available to the public free upon request and will be going out to agricultural and veterinary students across the country, as well as to politicians. The film can be viewed on YouTube as well as on the Animal Aid website.

During the summer, Animal Aid will visit cities throughout the UK to underline the health risks people face when they support an industry that profits from the exploitation of animals.

Says Animal Aid Campaigns Officer, Kelly Slade:

'We must reconsider our treatment of our fellow sentient beings - not only because of the effect that their abuse and exploitation has on animal welfare, but also because of the negative health consequences for people, too. Each one of us can take a simple but important step to reduce the harm and hazard by adopting an animal-free diet.'

Notes to Editors

  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that global industrial meat production poses a serious threat to human health. (FAO, 2007)
  • Approximately two-thirds of the 1,400 known human pathogens (biological agents that cause disease) are thought to have originated in animals. According to Dr Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture, Humane Society International, tuberculosis is thought to have been acquired from the domestication of goats; measles and smallpox from farming cows; whooping cough from pigs; typhoid fever from chickens; and influenza from ducks.

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