News 250 views last update:6 Aug 2012

UK: Home-grown feed saves rainforest, wildlife

Half of the animal feed currently imported into the UK from South America with what Friend of the Earth (FOE) describes as "devastating consequences for wildlife and communities", could be replaced with home-grown alternatives.

New research commissioned by the group, 'Pastures new,' highlights how the UK's demand for soy for animal feed is wiping out forests and wildlife in South America, but could easily be replaced with home-grown peas, beans and sunflowers and grazing on grass and clover, reports state. This would also reduce farming's ecological impact and boost the UK's food security.

Friends of the Earth teamed up with farmers to launch the report at an event in Parliament this month where MPs were asked to support the switch to home-grown animal diets by: using EU Common Agricultural Policy money to reward greener farming practices; by ensuring farmers get a fair price from supermarkets; and, by promoting the health and environmental benefits of lower-meat diets.

Friends of the Earth recently launched a new campaign drive calling on people to join their MOOvement for rainforest-free food and sign up to support the Sustainable Livestock Bill which MPs will be voting on this autumn.

Sandra Bell, Senior Food Campaigner at Friends of the Earth: "Many people choose British milk and meat without realising that the animals in our farms munch on feed produced by destroying wildlife and rainforests in South America. Animals should be born, bred and fed British, but pressure from supermarkets and biased EU subsidies force farmers to rely on damaging imports. The Government must listen to growing calls for it to restore a thriving meat and dairy sector by helping farmers switch to planet-friendly practices."


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