Spaniards critical of bio industry

by Lorraine Williamson
bio industry
del canto chambers 2

Six in 10 Spaniards think the bio industry allows economic benefits to prevail over human and animal welfare. This is according to an independent survey conducted by British market research firm YouGov on behalf of the international animal protection organisation Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).   

CIWF, as one of Europe’s leading animal welfare NGOs ensured that the European Commission supported the proposal to end the keeping of animals in cages in the food industry by 2027 at the latest. This happened after the organisation collected 1.4 million signatures. 

‘Factory farming, a form of intensive animal husbandry where many animals are confined in small and animal-unfriendly enclosures, is not only the biggest cause of animal cruelty on earth and a major cause of threats to wildlife, but we cannot address the growing climate emergency without ending this,’ explained CIWF representative in Spain, Patricia de Rada. 

Economy over welfare 

The campaign, presented at the COP27 conference centre in Luxor, Egypt, focuses on sustainable food, according to the international NGO. A survey of a sample of 14,552 shows that 68% of Spaniards say industrial livestock production puts economic benefits before animal welfare. The British (81%), French (81%), Italians (77%) and Poles (72%) have a higher percentage, and only the Dutch are below at 59%. 

In fact, the same survey shows that 57% of Spaniards believe that the industry puts economic benefits before the health of those who consume animal products, and 65% believe that money is also put before climate and environment. 

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‘Our research shows that the Spanish public is not convinced by industry propaganda that factory farming is ‘necessary to feed the world’. Large meat companies maintain a highly profitable system without considering the climate, health and animal welfare impacts they cause,’ CIWF explains. 

Start drafting legislation next year 

However, achieving such changes is not easy. The crusade to try to end cages in the food industry reached a major breakthrough when CIWF received the green light from the European Commission in summer 2021. Although the roadmap involves starting to draft legislation in 2023 and implementation in 2027, they cannot yet claim victory. 

However, this green light from the Commission does not automatically mean that the estimated 340 million animals currently in cages will be released. Member states still have the option of delaying the entry into force of the legislation or even curtailing the original proposal. 

Also read: Criticism of factory farming

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