The Soil Association has launched a campaign aimed at preventing the harms associated with the pesticides sprayed on industrial chicken feed, which they say are killing bees, bugs and affecting human health.

According to the Association’s report entitled Stop Poison Poultry, bees, fish, frogs, macaws, raptors, owls, tapirs, and bats are among the wild animals in the Americas being poisoned by pesticides for the sake of cheap industrial chicken feed.

More than one million tonnes of soya are imported into the UK yearly, mainly from Brazil, to feed the chickens reared in intensive units. Much of this soya is produced using pesticides which British farmers are not permitted to use.

However, there are no such curbs in Brazil, where pesticide use has increased by an incredible 900 per cent since 1990. According to the Soil Association, these pesticides risk the health of farmworkers and local communities in the Amazon, plus the wildlife.

Most supermarkets in the UK sell chicken fed on Brazilian soya, so the Soil Association is calling on the Government to ensure that the due diligence requirements of the 2021 Environment Act are applied to soya and to commit to a pesticide reduction target.

The report also calls for UK retailers to develop and commit to a time-bound plan to address the harms associated with highly hazardous pesticides in their soya supply chain, starting with poultry.

In addition, the Soil Association wants to see more research into UK-grown animal feed, with recent research highlighting that sprouting wheat and vetch seeds, grain tailings, and processed beans all offer good alternative nutrients for monogastric animals.

As a spokeswoman for the Soil Association commented, it is the right time to invest in UK protein crops and ease the country’s reliance on imported soya, particularly as farmers face the “perfect storm of rising fuel, fertiliser and feed costs.”

For more information or advice on related matters, please contact our experts at Smailes Goldie today.

Posted in Agriculture, Blog.