An international Farmwatch campaign has been launched by The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to improve conditions and outlaw cruel practices for farm animals, starting in Brazil and China, two of the world's biggest meat producing countries.
Farmwatch will work with the Oxford-based Food Animal Initiative (FAI) to establish model farms in developing countries. On its working farm FAI has developed ways to produce high quality meat and eggs humanely, as audited by Oxford University researchers.
Peter Davies, director general of WSPA, said: "While the European Union slowly legislates to improve conditions for farm animals, intensive factory farming is exploding in the developing world."
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimate that 4bn mammals and 55bn poultry are currently farmed every year. Davies added: "These animals are caged, chained or crammed and forced to grow super-fast, pumped full of antibiotics and pushed to their physical limits in the quest for ever more meat, milk or eggs."