Animals farmed: UK provide chain disaster, meat plant staff exploited and Billie Eilish’s Cop26 plea | Farming

New investigation from Animals farmed

We’ve been operating a startling investigation into Europe’s multibillion-pound meat business, revealing the way it has change into a world hotspot for outsourced labour, hiring hundreds of staff via subcontractors, companies and bogus co-operatives on inferior pay and circumstances.

Journalists Ella McSweeney and Holly Younger spent the previous six months interviewing staff and insiders throughout the UK and EU. They report that hundreds of staff in some international locations – lots of them migrants – are precariously employed, with some being paid 40% to 50% lower than workers in the identical factories.

“The system is sick all over the place throughout Europe. It’s primarily based on low cost costs for meat, on the exploitation of labour,” Enrico Somaglia, deputy secretary normal of the European Federation of Meals, Agriculture and Tourism Commerce Unions, instructed them.

The investigation has revealed how migrant staff prop up Eire’s €4bn (£3.4bn) meat business; explored circumstances for momentary workers at meat vegetation within the Netherlands – Europe’s greatest meat exporter; and requested whether or not different international locations would observe the lead of Denmark, which has secured respectable pay and circumstances inside the sector.

Information from all over the world

An Italian farmer producing Grana Padano cheese has been fined virtually €10,000 after an animal rights organisation launched a video showing to indicate “inconceivable circumstances of neglect” allegedly taken on the dairy farm. The video prompted inspections by police and official veterinarians who discovered a number of violations of animal welfare rules. In an announcement, business physique the Grana Padano Safety Consortium stated that, whereas by legislation animal welfare was not its accountability, it had lengthy been insisting that dairies apply greatest follow. The consortium added that the case was not consultant of the Grana Padano manufacturing chain.

A minimum of 651,000 farm animal deaths have been linked to the “warmth dome” that settled over western Canada and the north-western US for 5 days in June – killing greater than 500 individuals and contributing to wildfires. Though the climate occasion was unprecedented, animal welfare teams say extra ought to have been performed to guard animals. Business our bodies and farmers say producers are getting ready for excessive warmth occasions.

Customers are being inspired to purchase totally different sized eggs after a examine of laying hens uncovered a “large animal welfare downside”. College of Copenhagen researchers examined 4,800 hens and located virtually 4,100 had fractured keel bones (a part of a hen’s breastbone). They concluded the fractures had been attributable to hens being bred to be smaller whereas producing bigger eggs, and that it was a world downside present in almost all manufacturing techniques – together with amongst natural and free-range birds.

The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, is a dog-lover and has a number of on the presidential compound, together with one he rescued after taking workplace. {Photograph}: Cheong Wa Dae Handout/EPA

South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has proposed banning the consuming of canines within the nation, his workplace stated. The meat has lengthy been part of South Korean delicacies, with about 1 million canines believed to be eaten yearly. However consumption has declined as a rising variety of individuals dwell with canines as pets – together with the president – and the follow is one thing of a taboo amongst youthful generations.

Farmers’ possession of the phrase “meat” has been challenged at an Australian Senate inquiry into meals labelling. The inquiry, chaired by senator and former butcher store proprietor Susan McDonald, is analyzing whether or not labelling ought to be modified to higher establish plant-based merchandise. McDonald has stated the makers of meat options shouldn’t commerce off long-established names of animal protein and will as an alternative give you their very own phrases.

Information from the UK

The federal government introduced it’s to concern as much as 10,500 momentary UK visas for lorry drivers and poultry staff in an try to ease the provide chain disaster. Pig farmers warned that provide chain points might pressure them to “slaughter their very own animals” to eliminate them – there have already been studies of on-farm culling.

Felicity Lawrence argued that ever-worsening circumstances in provide chain jobs, similar to abattoirs and meat vegetation, had made Britain’s shortages inevitable.

Adjustments to farming rules that may permit discipline trials of gene edited crops in England had been introduced by the federal government. This can be adopted by plans to permit better use of gene modifying in crops – and doubtlessly animals too – within the UK.

A single case of BSE has been confirmed on a farm in Somerset. The contaminated animal was useless and had been faraway from the farm, stated the Animal and Plant Well being Company, which added that there had been 5 instances of confirmed BSE within the UK since 2014, all of which have been in animals not destined for the human meals chain and posed no danger to the general public.

Billie Eilish has signed a letter urging world leaders to put animal agriculture on the agenda at the Cop26 summit.
Billie Eilish has signed a letter urging world leaders to place animal agriculture on the agenda on the Cop26 summit. {Photograph}: Lia Toby/Getty

Eighteen celebrities – together with musician Billie Eilish and actor Alicia Silverstone – have signed a letter urging world leaders to handle animal agriculture’s affect on the local weather disaster on the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. In the meantime, a Labour MP has claimed most livestock farming can be phased out over the following 20 years because of the necessity of assembly the UK’s web zero targets. The UK meat sector has made progress in its ambitions to scale back carbon emissions and meals waste, in keeping with a brand new report by the charity Wrap.

Share your tales and suggestions

Thanks to everybody who has been in contact with their ideas on the sequence. Many readers responded to our investigation into working circumstances in Europe’s meat vegetation, together with Peter Dempsey, who stated: “You might be in all probability aware of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, written over a century in the past. Nothing has modified.” Whereas one other reader stated: “The title of the sequence could possibly be ‘individuals farmed’ really.”

To air your views, or share your experiences and tales from contained in the farming business, please contact us at: animalsfarmed@theguardian.com.

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