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WSPA report says factory farming exacerbates global poverty

23 May 2007 at 08:49 | 165778 views

A new report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) says that far from benefiting those suffering from poverty and hunger - as once promoted by Governments and Development Agencies - factory farming is actually part and parcel of the poverty problem.

The report “Industrial Animal Agriculture-Part of the Poverty Problem” demonstrates that the cruel and hidden costs of factory farming,(also known as industrial agriculture) results in lost livelihoods for people living in developing countries who depend on local farming for their survival.

The WSPA believes the majority of industrial animal farming practices not only cause immense pain and suffering to the animals involved but are one of the causes of poverty and hunger in developing countries.

The report, written by Janice Cox, an animal welfare expert, sets out the devastating consequences of industrial agriculture, which includes:

· putting small farmers out of business
· destroying rural communities
· Inefficient use of land and water to grow animal feed. Factory farming requires several kilograms of human edible grain to produce one kilogram of meat.
· creating large-scale meat production units that are vulnerable to disease

A letter calling for action on the issue with the report is being sent from the WSPA to over 1000 key stakeholders including Governments and partner organisations.

The WSPA’s concern is that smaller scale farming practices, which are generally better in terms of animal welfare and support poorer communities, are losing out.

Brazil has become the third largest poultry producer in the world almost entirely run by big corporations. In just one year as a result over 20,000 families were forced to leave the countryside.

Africa Regional Office
PO Box 105476 Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Phone 255 (22) 2701032 Fax 255 (22) 2701033
Email: Website: Registered TZ charity
China is now the world’s largest producer of pig meat, beef and eggs and is moving from traditional farms to larger industrial producers. However rural poverty is still present in many areas.

Paul Rainger, Head of the WSPA’s Farm Animal Programme said: “It is time for Governments to tackle the problems of factory farming now before even more communities disappear and more animals suffer.”


For more information contact: Pendo Gondwe on +255 784 885 050 or +255 22 2701033.


1. In 2007 veal crates will be banned in Europe and this will be followed by a ban on battery cages in 2012 and sow stalls in 2013.

The official report launch is 16 May which is also World Debt Day.

A full copy of the report “Industrial Animal Agriculture-Part of the Poverty Problem” is available at:

The WSPA has also just produced a series of leaflets on factory farming giving practical advice and information for consumers covering pig, cattle, dairy and poultry farming available at:

Industrial animal agriculture is a system of raising animals using intensive production line methods which maximise the amount produced and minimising costs.Examples include battery cages for laying hens.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals is the world’s largest federation of animal welfare organisations, representing over 770 member societies in more than 147 countries. Through direct field work, campaigning, legislative work, education and training programmes, WSPA strives to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.

Source: WSP Africa Regional Office
PO Box 105476 Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Phone 255 (22) 2701032 Fax 255 (22) 2701033
Email: Website:
Registered TZ charity