See the link below for an interesting document produced by a research team at the University of Chester and various partner organisations outlining a framework to guide UK churches and other Christian organizations in formulating policy and practice in relation to farmed animal welfare. There are separate sections on chicken, fish, sheep, pigs and cattle and it provides a comprehensive summary of current farming practices and welfare categories.
Two conclusions reached are that
“Animal products are currently inexpensive for consumers to purchase, because they come from farming systems that prioritize cost above farmed animal flourishing. Progress towards higher farmed animal welfare will make animal products more expensive, but consuming higher welfare animal products need not lead to higher domestic and institutional catering budgets. Food costs can be lowered when reduced consumption of animal products is combined with increased consumption of plant-based alternatives, which generally cost less than animal products. These changes need to accompanied by a wider social commitment to ensure that everyone has the means to afford food that is healthy, environmentally sustainable, and produced to high animal welfare standards.”
“UK farmers need fair contracts. Much of the current trading of farmed animal products in the UK is unfair to farmers and their animals. Contracts do not sufficiently reward farmers, and they contain too few incentives to enable flourishing for farmed animals. Consumers, retailers, wholesalers, farmers, investors, and other stakeholders can all play roles in demanding and enabling fair trade in farmed animal products, to reward farmers for improving their animals’ opportunities to flourish.”
These are sentiments entirely in line with our campaign stance at Sustainable Food Knighton.