How Factory Farming in the UK Effects Your Dog and Cat’s Health

How factory farming in the UK effects your dog and cats health
★ 2 min read

Factory Farming Effects Your Dog and Cat’s Health 

The first factory farm in the USA began operations in the 1920s. It was an industrial-scale chicken farm.  While industrial-scale farming has a long history in North America, it's  relatively new to the U.K. Many of my UK based clients aren’t familiar with the devastating impact factory farm sourced products can have on their dog and cat's health.

In the UK the majority of beef, chicken, duck, pork, turkey, and rabbit are now factory farm raised. This trend is reflected in the stock offered by many raw food companies in the UK. A large volume of raw food for dogs and cats is now factory farm sourced.

Compassion in World Farming does extensive research and data collection on farming practices. Their latest numbers for the UK reveal that:

  • Approximately 73% of farmed animals in the UK are factory farm raised.
  • Almost 800 North American style industrial mega-farms operate across the UK.
  • There's been a 26% increase in livestock mega-farms in the last 6 years.
  • A mega farm exists in almost every county in England. You can view Compassion in World Farming's UK Factory Farming Map here

The change in UK's farming landscape is:

  • Bad for the environment 
  • It's bad for your health, and has a negative impact on your dog, and cat's health.

Industrial livestock mega farms took over North America many years ago. If you live in the UK the issues around mega farming may not be as familiar to you. 

Factory farm raised animals live a miserable life. These animals are forced to live in inhumane, cruel conditions in addition to being fed species inappropriate, toxic diets. Their bodies are full of bad bacteria, disease and toxins. Toxic substances remain in their flesh and bones after slaughter. Toxic substances include heavy metals, drugs, and herbicide residue. Chemical wash (chlorine, a carcinogen), is used to help reduce bad bacteria on animal carcasses and poultry eggs

Genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy are:

  • Primary components of the factory farm raised animal's diet.
  • GE corn and soy are contaminated with the carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting herbicide, glyphosate.

Round-up is Bayer's (formerly Monsanto's), most widely used and most aggressively marketed herbicide. The active ingredient in Round-up is glyphosate

In March 2015, the international Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released findings on glyphosate. You can read IARC’s finding’s here.

When your dog and cat consume factory farm raised animals, they consume glyphosate residue. Glyphosate is known to cause and contribute to:

  • Cancer, tumors
  • Dementia
  • Endocrine damage
  • Gastrointestinal damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Leaky gut
  • Liver damage
  • Lymphoma
  • MRSA
  • Trace mineral absorption issues
  • Urinary tract issues and is a leading cause of  urinary tract infections.


What can you do to help protect your dog and cat?

Free-range, Pastured Meat, Organ, Bones and Eggs 

When your budget allows:

  • Purchase eggs from pastured, free-range poultry. Read more about that here.
  • Include grass fed pastured or wild-harvested proteins in your dog and cat's diet. 
  • Pastured, free-range and wild-harvested options are more expensive, and aren't sold by all raw food suppliers. 
  • In some areas of the UK sourcing free-range can be difficult.
    • Many UK raw food suppliers do include lamb in their standard product line. Lamb is typically pastured.
    • Speak to your local game warden to see if they have trimmings, and bones they can sell to you at low cost, or no cost.

Bone broth and Bone Broth Gelatin

If your budget is tight but you're able to purchase pastured free-range sourced bones, use the bones to make bone broth and/or bone broth gelatin.  Bone broth and bone broth gelatin made from pastured, free-range sourced, or wild-harvested animals can help support:
  • Brain health
  • Detox
  • Digestive health
  • Kidney health
  • Liver health 
  • Reminerilization
Recipes for Bone Broth and Bone Broth Gelatin:

Wild-caught Oily Fish

Factory Farm sourced animals don't provide your dog and cat with sufficient omega-3 essential fatty acids. Small wild-caught raw or gently cooked oily fish (fatty fish) offer an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.  Many UK raw food suppliers sell sprats and sardines. For guidance on selecting the best fish, handling, preparation and serving recommendations go here
Canned fish is fine to have on hand for emergencies, however I don't recommend it for daily use. Find out why here.
Never give your dog or cat farmed fish, learn why here.

Increase Antioxidant Intake

Include dark leafy greens and berries in your dog's diet to help support detox and overall health. More on that here.


Further Reading Recommendations on Factory Farming

Compassion in World Farming
Learn more about Compassion in World Farming and their work in the UK here.
Daniel Imhoff, CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories
David Kirby, Animal Factory
Last Chance for Animals (LCA), Factory Farming

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


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