Leading environmentalists and renowned academics from around the world have signed an open letter, coordinated by leading farm animal welfare charity, Compassion in World Farming. It calls on banks including HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Santander, as well as major financial institutions, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, to stop investing in industrial livestock production, and for intergovernmental organisations to recognise the need to move away from industrial farming methods.
More than 90 high-profile supporters of the charity – from fields as varied as academia, the arts and media, faith and ethics, and civil society – including Jane Goodall, Joanna Lumley, Prof Tim Lang and Jonathon Porritt, are backing the letter which stresses the critical need for a move to regenerative forms of agriculture to minimise the risk of future pandemics.
The letter highlights how industrial livestock production not only increases the potential for further pandemics, but also contributes to antibiotic resistance and other human health issues, undermines food security, and contributes to climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation and water pollution.
“In the wake of COVID-19, we urgently need to rethink our flawed global food system,” said Sean Gifford, Global Director of Campaigns at Compassion in World Farming. “It’s vital that global financial institutions stop funding industrial livestock production and instead support regenerative forms of agriculture which are not only better for human health but also kinder to animals and the planet.”
“We are at a turning point in history and we need major financial institutions and intergovernmental organisations to act now. The need has never been more pressing.”
The open letter and list of signatories can be seen here.
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