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Animal factories exact enormous toll on local communities, taxpayers, and animals

Wayne Pacelle: ‘The whole factory farming system is showing cracks under the weight of the problems it spawns. Air quality and water quality problems in communities are just two consequence of their operations. An even less discussed problem in factory farming is our government’s response and massive taxpayer spending to contain disease outbreaks in confinement facilities for chicken and turkey flocks. In 2014-2015, during the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in commercial poultry, the disease spread rapidly, and the response was massive “depopulation” actions from state and federal personnel.

During the outbreak, agents killed more than 48 million birds across 15 states in 223 facilities. The bulk of the birds were killed in Iowa (32 million) and Minnesota (nine million). The cost of the outbreak was estimated at $3.3 billion (starting to be “real money” in the words of Sen. Everett Dirksen) and 18 trading partners imposed bans on the shipment of U.S. poultry and products and another 38 imposed partial restrictions. In other words, this was a serious issue for the birds, the factory farms, and for taxpayers’. SOURCE…

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