UK banks could be investing your money in animal cruelty
By Annie Evans
Animals deserve to live their lives free from pain. However, UK banks are likely to be investing your money in companies that inflict immense cruelty to animals on factory farms.
Factory farming is the biggest threat animals face, inflicting terrible cruelty on billions of animals across the world.
It is also an existential threat to people and the planet: factory farms are a dangerous breeding ground for the next global pandemic, and drive environmental destruction, fuelling our climate crisis.
There is a global urgency to make systemic changes for animal welfare and a better future. That’s why we are asking ten high-street banks that operate in the UK to, as a minimum, make clear public commitments to meet the FARMS Responsible Minimum Standards for animal welfare, through the FARMS Initiative.
What is the FARMS Initiative?
The FARMS Initiative is a collaboration between World Animal Protection, Humane Society International and Compassion in World Farming, which developed the Responsible Minimum Standards (RMS). This is because they saw a need for global animal welfare standards that financial institutions could use to “encourage and support meat, fish, milk, and egg producers, and other companies in the supply chain, towards meeting the Responsible Minimum Standards (RMS) with respect to how farm animals are raised, transported, and slaughtered”.
What are the Responsible Minimum Standards (RMS)?
The RMS are a series of specific farmed animal welfare global standards for six species: beef cattle, chickens raised for meat (broiler), dairy cattle, laying hens, pigs, and farmed fish. These standards represent the minimum conditions needed to ensure that farmed animals within factory farming systems have a life worth living. In terms of animal welfare, “a life worth living” is where positive experiences and emotions are not outweighed by negative ones. In practice this means banning all cages, giving animals enough space, using slower growing breeds, ensuring they get natural daylight and an environment where they can carry out their natural behaviours such as rooting and dust bathing.
Why should banks adopt FARMS?
Financial institutions are increasingly recognising the need for ‘responsible banking’ which considers environmental issues, social issues, and corporate governance in their banking decisions. By strengthening their own investment policies and making clear public commitments to meet FARMS, banks can use their power to influence and engage the companies they finance to improve their practices and uphold animal welfare standards.
As customers of these banks who care deeply about animal welfare, we know animal welfare plays a key part of your day to day life. You support organisations like World Animal Protection, you look out for welfare standards when buying food and go the extra mile to care for your pets, including ensuring they receive necessary veterinary attention. But how would you feel if you knew your bank was using your money to support an industrial-scale system of suffering?
Here’s what you can do to demand higher animal welfare standards from banks:
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