The use of gene-editing technology to create female-only and male-only litters of mice has opened the door for the same technique to be used in the chicken industry to prevent the birth of male chicks. Millions of male chickens are culled every year because they don’t lay eggs so are surplus to requirements of egg farmers.
The demand for animal protein in China could increase by up to 30% by 2050, according to new estimates published in the scientific journal Nature, increasing demands on land and water, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. A significant amount of agricultural goods will need to be imported to meet the demand, with China already hugely reliant on soya bean imports to feed livestock.
WAV Comment – Concerning !
The EU ban on the use of animal byproducts for animal feed – introduced after the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) crisis in the early 1990s – has been lifted. It will allow practices such as the use of pork-based feed by chicken farmers, reducing their reliance on soy.
WAV Comment – Also concerning !
Nine US pork plants have been given permission to apply to trial faster processing line speeds. Faster slaughtering would help meat companies boost pork production at a time of strong demand and high bacon prices. The United Food and Commercial Workers union has previously sued the US Department of Agriculture over concerns about worker safety.
Mink farming is to be phased out in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Department of Agriculture said it was making the move because the animals are “reservoirs” for Covid-19. All mink farms must be closed – and all pelts sold – by April 2025. France has also passed legislation to outlaw mink farming.
Legislation to make fur farming illegal in Ireland has moved a step further. Pippa Hackett, land use and biodiversity minister, said: “We are hoping the bill will pass before the end of the year, and that from January 2022, fur farming in Ireland will be consigned to the history books.”
Meat has been taken off the menu at meetings, seminars, workshops and public events in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, the city government has announced. From the new year, attendees will instead be served seasonal vegetarian food or “responsibly caught local fish”, oat milk will replace cow’s milk and fair trade products will be offered.
Consumers in the US are facing “meatflation” as animal protein prices rise rapidly. The cost of meat, eggs, fish and seafood have all increased. Meanwhile, sales of plant-based meat in the US are falling due to supply chain problems. Shares in plant-based meat substitute producer Beyond Meat dipped by 19% after the company reported slowing demand in grocery stores and restaurants.
Speaking at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, the US secretary of agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, said Americans can carry on eating meat while keeping the world within safe global heating limits and that the industry could “make production more sustainable”.