From Pauline Allon, Ilkley

APPARENTLY, supermarkets are promoting cheap meat to drive up sales and increase profits despite undertakings to promote healthier plant-based diets. This goes against government health guidelines to reduce the consumption of meat, fats, salt, sugar.

Cheap meat does not exist, there is a price paid; primarily, it’s the factory farmed animals followed by factory workers. Consumers also pay a price because factory produced meat, although cheap is less nutritious with higher fat levels linked to cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Factory farming is bad for animals, humans and the environment. In factory farms pigs, chickens, cows etc are reared in filthy unhygienic conditions; often animals are forced to stand in their own excrement in overcrowded conditions allowing infection to spread from animal to animal and from animal to consumer all to support cheap food and increase the profits of global food industries.

Factory farming involves the overuse of antibiotics used globally in the fight against infectious disease. Worryingly, there is a worldwide rise in antibiotic resistance caused by the overuse of antibiotics in humans and in intensive farming leading to public health concerns and threatening to kill millions of people annually by 2050 (WHO).

What can consumers do – eat less meat, by limiting consumption to 3 days a week we would be healthier and there would no need for factory farms and the cruelty and damage they cause.

What can Government do? Unfortunately, future trade deals with Australia and New Zealand will allow animals reared in factory farms to be imported into the UK. Boris Johnson said Brexit would allow the UK to increase animal welfare and ban cruel practices, but there is still no new Bill to make this happen.