Europe must resist attempts to use coronavirus as a Trojan horse against animal agriculture

Of all the businesses and enterprises impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Europe’s farms are among the most vulnerable – and the most essential. At a time when demand for safe, affordable food is spiking, the pandemic has restricted access to agricultural workers, as well as disrupting processing operations on livestock farms.

And on top of these pressures, farmers are also facing attempts to use COVID-19 to influence EU policy and undermine animal agriculture by falsely linking the outbreak with modern farming practices, which are often maligned and poorly understood.

From a business perspective, this is unhelpful, but from a scientific perspective, this is entirely misguided. Coronavirus – like SARS, Ebola and almost three quarters of infectious, animal-borne diseases – was not created on a farm, but most likely originated in wildlife.

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