Excessive commercial exploitation of farm animals by industrial concerns
Nature: Use of farm animals for mass production of meat and egg products at the highest turnover rate and with the least expense, leads to inhumane methods of confining and forcing the growth rate of animals, loss of productive capacity owing to insufficient attention given to animal requirements, food surpluses owing to inaccurate assessment of demand, risk of animal and human diseases, increase in drug resistance from abuse of antibiotics for forced growth, and a threat to the farming community from higher relative competitiveness of larger units and surpluses.
Incidence: The problem occurs in developed countries, where the demand for meat and egg products is increasingly high. Industrial investors have less knowledge and less concern about the animals which they are using than the farming community; this results in mismanagement and cruelty. Insufficient assessment of demand for meat and egg products and the ensuing financial losses incurred can easily be offset against tax returns. Industrial investors may be less guided by subsidies which serve as an incentive against surpluses. The abuse of antibiotics and vaccines and the use of artificial methods of promoting fast growth encourage drug resistance in animals and humans. Animals which have been successfully treated for disease may still pass on infection in the meat. The risk of epidemics of animal diseases among intensively farmed animals is very high and may cause the spread of disease to other farm animals if adequate measures of disposal of diseased carcasses, disinfection of pens, and general hygiene are not taken.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 13.04.2001 – 00:00 CEST