Daily Mail

Once, we thought of farms as wholesome places, where chickens scratched around in the yard, pigs snoozed in muddy pens and contented cows chewed their cud in lush, green fields. It’s a myth peddled to children in nursery rhymes and reinforced by visits to farm parks to pet newborn lambs.

The reality is very different. Today, ‘mixed’ farming of animals and crops has all but disappeared — replaced by farms specialising in one product only, whether it’s cereals, eggs, chicken, milk, pork or beef. Old MacDonald, eat your heart out, E-I-E-I-O!

Thankfully, Britain still has a fair proportion of farms where animals are allowed to roam and graze as nature intended. But for how much longer?

Because without fuss or fanfare, and largely unnoticed by the public, our farm animals are being disconnected from the land, disappearing from fields and moved into cramped, airless hangars and barns, with concrete beneath their feet instead of grass.

And now the pressure is growing to move to the next stage of intensive farming: mega-piggeries, mega-dairies and ‘battery’-reared beef, with the genetically engineered animals and crops already common in the United States and elsewhere.

It is a pressure we in this country should resist with all our might.

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