Monday, January 10, 2011

Risks of intensive animal farming

Raising animals in an intensive way means that the animals have to grow quickly, so that the farmers can use their products as soon as they can. In order to reduce costs and increase profit margins, the animals live in small spaces and they eat fodder provided by the farmers. Despite the sanitary and quality controls, there have been some scandals related to the way of feeding the animals raised in intensive farms:

-    The “mad cow disease” of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE):  This disease affected cows and it passed on humans through beef meat. The cows were infected because they ate feed made with carcasses of different animals (infected sheep, birds, dogs, cats, other cows…). Ruminant vegetarian cows were fed with feed made with meat and bone meal coming from other animals.

You can read more about this disease on the following link:

-    The most recent scandal related to intensive animal farming is the “dioxin affair” in Germany: some feed producers used industrial oils to include fats (proteins) in the feed chicken, hens and pigs eat. These industrial oils contained dioxins, which are carcinogenic. The proportion of dioxins found in the feed was 79 times higher than the allowed. Around 5,000 farms had to close in Germany last week, but the problem is far to be solved: many eggs were exported to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and they were used to make different products (cakes mainly).

You can get more information on the following links:

1 comment:

Enrique Vázquez said...

very good post Paqui
It's very interesting.