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Factory farming – industrial livestock production – is a key driver of multiple harms. Its crowded, stressful conditions can lead to the emergence, spread and amplification of pathogens, including zoonoses. It heightens the risk of further pandemics. It is dependent on the routine use of antimicrobials. Its huge demand for cereals and soy as animal feed leads to soil degradation, overuse and pollution of water, air pollution, biodiversity loss and deforestation. It places several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals out of reach and contributes to making it difficult to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement targets. How did we get to the point where factory farming so dominates global animal agriculture?

This report examines a number of self-serving myths that help perpetuate factory farming. It then looks at the big input providers whose profitability is dependent on continuing industrial animal agriculture practices.