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‘COWSCHWITZ’: The mega factory farm where 120,000 cows are pumped with steroid hormones

Miserable animals stretch for as far as the eye can see, standing on barren dirt, huddled together under sheets of corrugated iron offering the only shade from the blazing sun.

CAROLINE GRAHAM: Spread over 800 dusty acres without a blade of green grass in sight, there are up to 120,000 cattle here at any one time. The animals come from ranches throughout the western states of America to be fattened up before slaughter. The locals call it ‘Cowschwitz’.

Harris Ranch, which runs alongside the busy Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco, produces a staggering 150 million pounds of beef every year, and supplies many of America’s biggest supermarket and restaurant chains. The business has more than £325 million worth of sales a year…

Miserable-looking animals stretch for as far as the eye can see, standing on barren dirt, huddled together under sheets of corrugated iron offering the only shade from the blazing Californian sun. Occasionally there is a plaintive moo, but for the most part the cattle stand silent in their manure-encrusted pens…

Harris Ranch has long been a target for animal rights protesters and suffered an arson attack in 2012 when 14 cattle trucks were destroyed in a series of fires set by the North American Animal Liberation group. Whereas growth-promoting hormones have been banned in Britain since the 1980s, they are fed to 90 per cent of feedlot cattle in America…

Philip Lymbery, of Compassion in World Farming… says. ‘Eighty per cent of all antibiotics consumed in any one year are fed to farm animals in the US, compared to less than 45 per cent in Britain. ‘Crowding tens of thousands of cattle together causes them stress, lowers their immune system and makes them vulnerable to disease’…

Cameron Harsh, farming campaign manager at World Animal Protection US, agrees: ‘Feedlot cattle receive growth-promoting hormones such as estradiol, testosterone and progesterone. These steroid hormones serve no health or welfare purpose and are only used to increase productivity, primarily increasing weight gain and improving feed efficiency.

‘The use of antibiotics in US farming is five times higher than in UK production. Their overuse across the industry has contributed to the global public health crisis of rising resistant infections and a lack of effective antibiotics to treat people’. SOURCE…

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