While eliminating the farming of animals would take away a lot of the disease risk, say the authors, they argue that a dramatic reduction in meat consumption would be “challenging” to achieve. So instead the report looked at whether intensive or less intensive farming was a better option for reducing disease risk. But data on the emergence of disease in intensive farms is limited, says the report, and typically ignores how land use affects risks. “High-yield or ‘intensive’ livestock farming is blamed for pandemics, but those calling for a move away from intensive farming often fail to consider the counterfactual – the pandemic risk of farming less intensively and particularly the consequences for land use,” says the lead author, Harriet Bartlett. A global shift away from intensive farming would require an area of land almost as large as India, inevitably increasing the risk of spillovers, Bartlett says.
Source: The Guardian June 23, 2022 16:56 UTC