Industrial-scale pig and chicken farming continues to rise in the UK
New figures reveal that the number of large industrial-sized pig and chicken farms in the UK continues to rise, with close to 2,000 across the country.
In 2017, the then environment secretary Michael Gove told MPs: “One thing is clear: I do not want to see, and we will not have, US-style farming in this country.” However, the number of industrial-sized pig and poultry units in the UK has risen by 7% from 1,669 in 2017 to 1,786 this year.
Chicken farms are classed as “intensive” if they have capacity to house at least 40,000 poultry birds, while pig farms must have 2,000 pigs raised for meat or 750 breeding sows. Intensive pig and poultry facilities require a permit from the Environment Agency to operate, which is not the case at present for intensive beef and dairy units, so their numbers are not monitored.