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Supporters list reduced costs and higher yields among the reasons for farmers to go mega, but the suggestion hasn’t been popular with some consumers who expect the area surrounding the mega farms to become less desirable due to declined views and unpleasant sounds and smells. Environmental factors have also been considered.
The quality of animal welfare at such large-scale operations has also been called into question – the animals can be kept indoors for the majority of their lives without seeing daylight, and mega farms in America have been accused of harm to human health as a result of routine antibiotic usage. However, farming experts have advised that regulations in the UK are more restrictive than in the US and mean that if antibiotics were used too frequently a large percentage of milk would have to be disposed of.
Whether the welfare of the animals on mega farms would be worse than that on smaller farms is under discussion, with some experts advising that animals at larger operations can expect better care from vets.
A mega farm project, planned to house 25,000 pigs, has been turned down in Derbyshire but is due for further review.
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