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Farms open their doors
Posted 9 June 2011
This weekend, hundreds of UK farms will be opening their gates to visitors as part of Open Farm Sunday. This is an industry-led initiative, designed to show the public how their food is produced and to reassure them about animal welfare standards, but will the whole truth be told?
Visitors to 'livestock' farms will no doubt be confronted with a sanitised version of animal farming. They will not be shown around the huge, dirty, cramped sheds where millions of chickens, turkeys, ducks and pigs are forced to live. They will see neither the immense amount of drugs fed to animals simply to keep them alive, nor the mutilations - such as tail docking, dehorning and teeth clipping - that many must endure. They will not witness the highly stressful transportation of animals, both within the UK and overseas to countries including China. And the fate of these animals - the cramped, long and terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse where they are treated as mere commodities on a factory line - will certainly be hidden from view.
Visiting farms may seem like a fun day out but it does little to educate the public about where meat, milk and eggs come from. Those who would like the opportunity to meet farmed animals up close would do better to visit one of the many farmed animal sanctuaries across the UK where the animals have the freedom to exhibit their natural behaviour. And for those who really wish to know about animal production, Animal Aid’s many investigations into typical UK farms can be seen below.