Why does meat need to be so cheap? Pete Wedderburn on mega farms in the Daily Telegraph

The issue of mega farms has come up at a topical time, when the UK House of Lords is also discussing the impact of Brexit on animal welfare in the UK.

Animal welfare or economic growth?

The UK has always been a world leader on animal welfare, but when new markets (such as the USA) want to trade animal products that involve poor welfare practices, there’s an obvious conflict of interest. What comes first: animal welfare or economic growth?

To me, the answer seems obvious: impose high levels of animal welfare as an obligation and accept that meat /milk/eggs have a price that reflects this.

Cheapness should not always be the number one priority

There are a number of other areas in life where we don’t accept that “cheaper is necessary”:

  • There are minimal safety standards for consumer goods
  • Medicines have to be properly licensed to ensure safety of patients
  • Cars are obliged to have minimal safety standards
  • Health and safety regulations make many products and services more costly

high animal welfare should trump cheapness

Our society has decided that “human safety trumps cheapness”.

Why can we not agree that “high animal welfare trumps cheapness” as well?

Read my article on mega farms at the Daily Telegraph by following the link below.


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