Animal Freedom makes an appeal to close the borders to imports and exports of meat and dairy.
Why do we want this and what are the consequences?
We appeal for this because the export of meat and dairy
supports industrial farming, which we are trying to get
In this article we will not be answering the question
whether a ban on export can be realized in a free market
society. Where there's a will, there's a way.
We will be listing a number of consequences and the pros
and cons for the branches of pigs, cows and poultry. We
conclude with a number of preconditions under which cattle
farmers can rely on an acceptable (sometimes better) income
in the proposed situation.
A second appeal, which we made to our Dutch Minister
of Agriculture, is to limit agriculture to purely biological
agriculture. This would improve animal well being, mainly
by stopping international transports of live animals,
guaranteeing more freedom not only for animals, but also for cattle farmers who
are now being held by the short hairs by animal fodder
and meat processing industries.
If you want to know more about the details behind the
numbers used in these calculations, please refer to
the links at the top of each column
In Holland, the number of pigs being produced is three
times the consumption; two thirds are exported. Meat
pigs are made ready for slaughter in four months with
the aid of antibiotics working as growth stimulants.
Production for national consumption can be attainable
by keeping fewer pigs per farm, and to let the pigs
grow at a natural rate, as is the practice in biological
cattle farming. The pigs have more room and they can
go outside. This more extensive way of rearing pigs
would employ the same number of pig farmers as there
are now. It would, however, cost jobs in the meat processing industry.
Biological pig farmers have an average of 270 pigs,
with a maximum of 27 pigs per hectare outside in a pasture.
The total manure production will decrease to one third
of the current volume. The import of animal fodder from
third world countries can be drastically reduced. Environmental
pollution will decrease, but more space will be needed.
We would need an area the size of the entire province
of Utrecht as outdoor space for all the pigs.
Cattle can reach a variety of ages in our country.
Some newly born bull calves are killed quickly, others
reach the age of 14 months. Dairy cows sometimes were
killed after their last calf, when they had reached
the age of 15. Our meat consumption makes up for a little
less than a quarter of the number of adult cows, and
roughly half of our pork consumption. Most adult cows
are dairy cows, which stop producing after about four
years and have had only 2 or 3 calves in their short lives.
Changing intensive dairy farming to biological dairy
farming, in which animals live longer in smaller stocks
(e.g. 35 dairy cows and as many young), will not provide
jobs for nearly as many dairy farmers as there are now.
Since the dairy cow gives birth every year, the young
will in principle cover the needs for beef consumption and replacement.
It's clear that a reduction of cattle stocks must be
compensated with a higher price for the products of
cattle farmers. This compensation should preferably
be offered by a healthy market mechanism. Protective
measures such as closing borders, which are normally
undesirable, are now in the interest of animals, the
environment and the consumer's health.
This will entail that consumers have to pay more for
their meat and dairy. Prices could be twice or triple
what they are now.
Meat chick farms
Chick meat is consumed almost as much as beef. Just
as for pigs, roughly three times the amount consumed
in our own country is produced. Changing from intensive
to biological would maintain the number of farms at
1230, if the average occupation would be reduced to
a quarter or a third of the population. It is conceivable
that analogous to dairy farming the meat of overgrown,
but not squeezed out, laying hens is used for consumption,
instead of the now specially reared "turbo"
chicks. As you know, these poor creatures don't live
longer than six weeks.
A possible solution is that we eat less meat and more fruit and vegetables. This is
cheaper and healthy, and also good for our climate. A
higher price for meat does not have to be a great problem
for the consumer.
On top of that, we are all also paying, through taxes,
European subsidies to maintain the meat market and to
cushion its negative consequences for environment and health.
By closing the borders for meat and dairy we will prevent
all these problems, and by abolishing the various subsidies
the Dutch farmers and the consumer will benefit in the end.