The State Coordinator Stop Industrial Livestock, in which more than 60 neighborhood platforms from areas throughout Spain affected by industrial livestock are represented, has sent this Friday an open letter to the President of the Government and the Ministers of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Health and Consumption in which he asks for an end to this type of exploitation.
The spokeswoman for Stop Industrial Livestock: “We neighbors are humiliated to hear that macro-farms do not pollute”
“In recent years we have witnessed the excessive and uncontrolled advance of industrial livestock farming in Spain, which is contributing to serious environmental, economic, demographic and public health impacts in rural Spain,” begins the letter, which arrives in the middle of the controversy generated by Minister Alberto Garzón’s statements on the need to reduce meat consumption, his criticism of industrial livestock farming and macro-farms, and his support for an extensive livestock model.
In the text, they ask for a moratorium on industrial farming for at least five years, in which there are neither new farms nor expansions of existing ones, also paralyzing the files that are started. They also require a “strategic” evaluation of the sector, looking at the cumulative impact of the different production models. Likewise, they request to reduce “gradually” intensive livestock farming until it reaches 50% less than the current level by 2030.
With regard to consumption, they ask for “clear and homogeneous” labeling that allows buyers to identify “origin and model of livestock” of the products they purchase. Finally, they request a meeting of the Ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Health and Consumption, to address the problem.
“It’s time for them to listen to us,” explains Inmaculada Lozano, spokesperson for the Stop State Coordination, “we cannot let the debate about the industrial livestock model die, about its disastrous consequences for the planet and for rural Spain without reaching to a clear commitment to action.
The groups assure that industrial farming contributes to air and water pollution and urgently ask for “courageous and forceful actions” to put an end to it. In the text, they explain that in 2020 it was responsible for 94% of emissions, which is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is to blame for the average nitrate contamination of groundwater.
“In many towns we can no longer even drink tap water and in others we are drinking it contaminated without knowing it. Enough of words and controversy! We want serious commitments to put an end to this serious problem,” adds Lozano.
Industrial farming, underline the signatories, also favors the depopulation of rural areas. It does so because of “its high mechanization”, in addition to the “serious effects” it has wherever it is installed, such as the increase in bad odors, contaminated water or the number of flies.
Finally, they emphasize that this type of exploitation goes against animal welfare: “In industrial farming, mutilations without anesthesia or keeping animals for months in cages so tiny that they cannot even turn around are legal practices,” they denounce.
“Enough of words and polemics! We want serious commitments to put an end to this serious problem,” says the Coordinator’s spokeswoman. The organizations emphasize their support for extensive livestock farming, which complies with the canons that seek to “reduce the environmental footprint of economic activities”, in addition to guaranteeing “the improvement of animal welfare”.
More than 800 organizations and groups have joined this letter, such as the Platform for Extensive Livestock and Pastoralism, ADDA, Friends of the Earth, Compassion in World Farming, Ecologists in Action, Food and Water Action Europe, Greenpeace, Food Justice, SEO Birdlife, WWF Spain, Youth for Climate-Fridays for Future Spain, the Santa María la Real Foundation for Historical Heritage or the Professional College of Geography in Castilla y León.
More than 500 professionals from the agricultural, livestock, teaching, medical and veterinary practice, research, engineering or legal fields, among many others, have also adhered to the document.