NGOs including Compassion in World Farming – a farm animal welfare organization – are calling on major world banks to stop funding intensive animal agriculture.
The group is collectively advocating for an end to the funding of industrial farm systems by multinational development banks (MDBs).
Its letter, which was delivered during a week of Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG), urges MDBs to stop lending financial support to industrial animal agriculture and instead back ‘sustainable forms of animal and plant-based production’.
The group argues that the act of continuing to fund intensive animal agriculture and the ‘high meat consumption that it supports’ places the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement ‘out of reach’.
We need to build back better post-COVID and that should include changing our relationship with animals
The group cites the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in which it states: “Diets high in plant protein and low in meat and dairy are associated with lower GHGs.”
Peter Stevenson, chief policy advisor at Compassion in World Farming, comments: “There are many reasons why MDBs should not finance industrial animal agriculture. With its overcrowded, stressful conditions where animals never see the light of day, industrial animal agriculture contributes to the emergence and spread of pathogens, some of which are zoonotic. The last pandemic before COVID-19 emerged from farm animals. This was the 2009 swine flu pandemic. We need to build back better post-COVID and that should include changing our relationship with animals. We should rear farm animals to high welfare standards and include them as an integral part of regenerative agriculture systems that can restore biodiversity, rebuild soil quality, and halt deforestation.”