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June 03, 2020 - Digital Trends

The meat industry could spawn the next pandemic, new report finds

The meat industry could spawn the next pandemic, new report finds
Cows in industrial agricultureFile Photo / © Photabulous!

The global meat industry is already a breeding ground for a future pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by the investor network Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR).

The report found that lax safety protocol for food products and workers, overuse of antibiotics, and confinement of animals to close quarters help facilitate the transmission of viruses from animals to humans.

The analysis — which covered 60 of the world’s largest meat, dairy, and fish producers — revealed that 70% of such companies are at high risk for new infections. FAIRR is a London-based global group of investors concerned with environmental, social, and governance issues around protein supply chains. Maria Lettini, FAIRR’s director, said that the meat industry was “ill-prepared” to deal with the risks of an animal-to-human virus.

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