A two and a half year study of “industrial farm animal production” by a special commission has concluded that while “industrial farm animal production has benefits, it brings with it growing concerns for public health, the environment, animal welfare, and impacts on rural communities.” The report, sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public, finds that the costs of large scale animal production are “human illnesses caused by drug resistant bacterial associated with the rampant use of antibiotics on feedlots and the degradation of land, water and air quality caused by animal waste too intensely concentrated to be neutralized by natural processes,” according to the Washington Post.

The commission concluded: “Research consistently shows that the social and economic well-being of rural communities benefits from large numbers of farmers rather than fewer farms that produce increased volumes. In rural communities where fewer, larger farms have replaced smaller, locally owned farms, residents have experienced lower family income, higher poverty rates, lower retail sales, reduced housing quality, and persistent low wages for farm workers.”

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