In Asia, Asian meat demand predicted to grow 19% from 2013 to 2025 to 144 million tonnes and factory farming grows rapidly. According to one report of FAIRR, the meat production in 2013 (thousand tons) by countries or regions are as follows: China, mainland - 83,462, India - 6,215, Vietnam - 4,534, Indonesia -3,318, Japan - 3,285, Philippines - 3,128, Pakistan - 3,040, Thailand - 2,558, South Korea - 2,242, Malaysia - 1,709, Taiwan - 1,538, Hong Kong, SAR - 167, Singapore – 0, and it is 13.2 times compared to that in 1963 (including Australia and New Zealand). Meat per capita consumption, 2013 (kg) varies from Hong Kong, SAR -123.9 to India 3.0. Mainland China, India, and Japan have the highest Eggs production, and India, mainland China, Pakistan have the highest milk production.
The report points out the major concerns of factory farming in Asia are food safety and nutrition, public health risk, environmental footprint, animal welfare, and labor standards. The risk of food safety and nutrition is very high and immediate. The risk of public health is high. The environmental footprint is low. Animal welfare and labor standards risk is low. (Unluckily, the low risk of Animal welfare and labor standards does not mean the protection level is high but means the regulation is weak.)
“How animal welfare is prioritized for consumers depends on the country. For example, there have been a number of recent news items highlighting poor animal welfare practices in Vietnam, while in India animal welfare concerns are linked to religious and cultural preferences and fundamental to the structure of the market. There is also growing momentum behind higher welfare farming in China. Elsewhere in Asia, healthy eating trends are driving a rapid increase in the production of vegetarian products, but from a low base, while animal welfare concerns are growing in importance for exporters.”
In Asia, “religious convictions play a strong role in animal welfare standards and consumption in many Asian countries.” In India, religious and cultural preferences have resulted in the world’s highest prevalence of vegetarianism – the government estimate is 29%, but others estimate up to 42%. Together with high levels of poverty, this has resulted in per capita meat consumption of only 3 kg per person per year.
“Countries with a significant Muslim population tend to have low pork production and consumption. Pakistan consumes almost none, while Malaysia consumes around 6.1 kg per person per year, far lower than other Asian markets with similar total meat consumption. Furthermore, Halal certification includes many standards that respond to welfare concerns, even if some secular advocates do not believe they go far enough. Buddhism – which has large numbers of followers across the region – is also linked to customary practices relating to animal welfare and vegetarianism in some interpretations.” (Source: FAIRR)
Here is some information offered in the report:
According to the World Bank, 80% of low and middle-income countries used antimicrobials for growth promotion – seen as a major cause of antibiotic resistance.
A pollution census from the Chinese government found agriculture was responsible for 44% more water pollution than other industrial operations. Waste from livestock was estimated at 243 million tonnes of feces.
China already consumes almost half of the world’s antibiotics, and due to increased intensive farming, Asia is estimated to increase antibiotic usage in chicken and pigs by 129% and 124% respectively by 2030.
Southeast Asia suffers 175,000 deaths per year from foodborne illnesses – the highest number of any global region.
CAFO or factory farming is an effective system to cut down the cost of the animal product but we should know the potential risks brought by CAFO or factory farming, including the health, environmental, and animal welfare issues. If the CAFO or factory farming is not well regulated, it will be a nightmare for the local neighborhood, environment, workers, and animals.