Peter Stevenson is Chief Policy Adviser for Compassion in World Farming and has worked in the field of farm animal welfare for 30 years.
He explains that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, jumped from wild animals to people, but there is no indication that it came from farm animals. However, factory farming in which large numbers of animals are kept in crowded stressful conditions contributes to the emergence, spread and amplification of pathogens (both viruses and bacteria), some of which are zoonotic i.e. can be transmitted to people. The last global pandemic before covid-19 originated in farm animals.
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