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Armed with the Pew Report on Industrial Animal Farming, Britain Declares War on Mega-Dairies

Pew commissionBritain has spurned the American model of intensive livestock farming for many years. More recently the so-called science-based CAFO models have traveled the globe, leaving trails of toxic poison behind them. Who would have thought that Britain, with a rich tradition of being one of the first countries to embrace organic, humane farming systems, would be contemplating intensive dairy farming as the way of the future? Thankfully, a much-lauded report issued by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production is being used to support the groups opposed to the feedlot dairies. The local residents in the U.K. town of Lincolnshire are vehemently opposing plans just submitted for a 3,000 cow intensive dairy farm, only weeks after scuttling the first attempts for an 8,000 cow intensive dairy farm in the same area.

The Pew Commission’s 2008 report, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, has been one of our most potent weapons in up-ending a loathsome business where profits depend on the inhumane treatment of animals, and where unsustainable, unsafe health and environmental practices are the norm. For too long, agri-business has been allowed free reign to transform American agriculture in a way that undermines our most basic beliefs about how animals and farmers should be treated, and what our children should eat. Not to mention the incredible long-term damage being inflicted on our soils and waterways.

The importance of the Pew Commission report in refuting the bad science and malevolent spin of agri-business has already had an impact here in the U.S. — AWA farmers are able to build viable farms that put the care of the animals and the land at the center of their production practices. It’s heartening to see that that Pew’s report is becoming a global resource for all communities fighting the export of an ill-conceived, greedy farming system that has proven to have dire long-term effects.

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