Friday, 26 June 2015
Superbugs and factory farming
It’s no surprise that pork products in UK supermarkets have been found to contain MRSA (Report, 18 June), nor that the majority of supermarket chicken is contaminated with campylobacter. Given their crowded conditions, factory farms have long been breeding grounds for disease, and routine medication has only compounded the problem by breeding drug-resistant micro-organisms. And yet councils across the UK continue to approve the building of broiler sheds and intensive pig farms. Only recently a planning application was made for a 30,000-capacity pig farm in County Antrim, which would be the biggest in the UK. With so many animals, it would be difficult to regularly check them individually, meaning that sick animals would go unnoticed, further spreading disease. Allowing such developments to go ahead not only results in animal suffering but also puts human health and life at risk.