hedgehoghog
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How come factory farming isn't illegal in the UK? Surely it goes against the 5 freedoms?

I'm hoping to be a vet student eventually so I'm just curious!
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del1rious
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God only knows.
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by hedgehoghog)
How come factory farming isn't illegal in the UK? Surely it goes against the 5 freedoms?

I'm hoping to be a vet student eventually so I'm just curious!
Intensive farming and animal welfare are not mutually exclusive. What matters most is how that system, intensive or non-intensive, is run.

On a similar note non-intensive systems or "organic", "free range" or "grass fed" branding does not equal superior animal welfare (despite what much of the public may think!).

The biggest issue with intensive farming is scale. An error or oversight with regards to nutrition or disease control (for example) has the potential to compromise the health and welfare of a much larger number of animals. I would argue that because of this there is a greater awareness of animal health, welfare and production issues among farmers working in more intensive systems.

It is important to remember that with increasing demand for meat and animal products there is going to be an increased need for intensive farming. Banning intensive farm practices is not practical nor realistic, what we need to do is consume fewer animal products and work to improve animal health and welfare in general (regardless of the system).
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username2703735
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Just to throw a slight counterpoint into the mix: Some of the most profitable farms are what could be termed factory farms. But with profit comes reinvestment - technology which like it or loathe it is becoming involved more intensively with farming. This isn't cheap but can improve both herd and individual health and productivity.

It isn't just intensive systems that create welfare problems. Block calving (New Zealand style) is a system some farmers are trying to implement in the UK. But if they have the wrong land or cattle this fails drastically and while being an extensive system causes serious welfare issues.
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Angry cucumber
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(Original post by hedgehoghog)
How come factory farming isn't illegal in the UK? Surely it goes against the 5 freedoms?

I'm hoping to be a vet student eventually so I'm just curious!
See Ch0c0h0lics comment above, additionally what is factory farming? Where do you draw the line of it?
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hedgehoghog
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(Original post by Angry cucumber)
See Ch0c0h0lics comment above, additionally what is factory farming? Where do you draw the line of it?
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I guess factory farming is where they have to maximise the yield of products they produce to fit the demand, but at the expense of the animals welfare. But I am unsure where there is a clear line to differentiate between them both...

For instance between free range hens and intensive farmed hens, is there an in between?
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ch0c0h01ic
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(Original post by hedgehoghog)
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I guess factory farming is where they have to maximise the yield of products they produce to fit the demand, but at the expense of the animals welfare. But I am unsure where there is a clear line to differentiate between them both...
There isn't - there is equal opportunity for non intensive or non "factory" farmers to compromise the welfare of their animals it's just on a smaller scale.

Only a tiny minority of farmers work to maximise profits while intentionally compromising the health and welfare of their animals. Generally the factors are interrelated so if you want to be profitable, regardless of your system, you have to make an effort with animal health and welfare.

Like I said before, most of the issues with intensive systems tend to come from scaling/intensification and disease control/biosecurity issues rather than an underlying desire to be evil or generate as much money as humanly possible.

I have seen and heard of some pretty horrific animal health and welfare issues, and I have to say that the majority were born out of plain ignorance/stupidity and the vast majority involved non-intensive farms. Ironically many of these individuals were (and often still are!) held in very high regard by their communities and even the wider public (one "celebrity" farmer even springs to mind).

For instance between free range hens and intensive farmed hens, is there an in between?
There's countless different systems all with their advantages and disadvantages. Some may sound nicer than others but sometimes the reality is the opposite (eg; barn reared hens have a much higher mortality rate than caged hens).
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username2703735
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(Original post by hedgehoghog)
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I guess factory farming is where they have to maximise the yield of products they produce to fit the demand, but at the expense of the animals welfare. But I am unsure where there is a clear line to differentiate between them both...

For instance between free range hens and intensive farmed hens, is there an in between?
It can depend on the level of production. Free range hens on massive production plants are often outside in groups of thousands. The phrase pecking order is more logical than you think, chickens all have a rank within a social hierarchy. But if that group is so large then that order is never established which can lead to fighting, increased stress levels and ultimately a lower standard of welfare than a chicken that lives with a smaller group - be that inside or out.
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