ANIMAL WELFARE campaigners have called on the major global banks to stop funding intensive animal agriculture.

In a letter sent to the multinational development banks during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Compassion in World Farming argued that most pig and chicken production was incompatible with the Paris Climate Agreement goals, as the species were 'industrially' farmed, consuming huge amounts of purpose-grown cereals and soya, and producing equally huge amounts of manure, all adding up to high greenhouse gas emissions.

With that in mind, said CIWF, public financial institutions with a stated commitment to climate change targets simply could not go on financing those sectors.

Chief policy advisor at CIWF, Peter Stevenson, said: “There are many reasons why MDBs should not finance industrial animal agriculture. With its overcrowded, stressful conditions where animals never see the light of day, industrial animal agriculture contributes to the emergence and spread of pathogens, some of which are zoonotic. The last pandemic before Covid-19 emerged from farm animals. This was the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

"We need to build back better post Covid and that should include changing our relationship with animals. We should rear farm animals to high welfare standards and include them as an integral part of regenerative agriculture systems that can restore biodiversity, rebuild soil quality, and halt deforestation.”