Right now, every donation is matched until 31st December or until we reach our goal of £155,000. Don't miss out! DONATE NOW
Get the latest news and updates from Animal Equality

The Truth Exposed: How The Meat Industry Is Driving Deforestation In Brazil

08/09/2021 Updated: 09/12/2021
Cows in a deforested area of Brazil

Animal agriculture is destroying Brazil’s habitats and our planet, and is responsible for the suffering of billions of animals. Animal Equality has today launched a global campaign urging the Brazilian Government and other world leaders to take specific actions that will hold the meat industry accountable for its crimes.

Animal Equality’s investigative team in Brazil travelled to the west central state of Mato Grosso, to document the illegal fires burning in the Pantanal wetlands and Cerrado savannahs. Interviews with those on the front lines trying to stop the blazes revealed that ranchers are illegally setting fires to clear land to raise cows for meat, as well as for planting soy – the majority of which is exported to be used as feed for farmed animals around the world.

Over half of the Cerrado region has now been deforested, and recently the tropical wetlands of Pantanal have become more severely affected by illegal fires too – 29% of the area was burned in 2020.

Animal agriculture is by far the biggest cause of deforestation in Brazil, and the country is the world’s largest exporter of meat from cows, exporting it to 154 countries worldwide including the UK.

Not only is the lack of regulation in Brazil’s animal agriculture industry driving environmental destruction, but it also causes suffering to the cows who are killed for meat in the country. There is no comprehensive tracking system in place for farmed animals, meaning that cows raised in illegally deforested areas can be sent directly to unlicensed slaughterhouses, where they are often killed in extremely cruel ways.

The meat industry is causing indefensible harm to both animals and our planet. Fires are raging through the world’s precious ecosystems, and factory farming is the driving force behind this environmental devastation. The climate is changing and so must we: Governments globally must act now to stop these blazes in Brazil from burning any further.

Abigail Penny, Executive Director of Animal Equality UK

Animal Equality’s teams in Brazil, the UK and other countries around the world are calling on the Brazilian National Congress to pass legislation requiring Brazilian cow meat producers to put transparent monitoring systems in place. We are also urging Brazil’s trading partners around the world to stop importing products from these cruel and destructive practices.

Latest News

On Wednesday 29th November, Councillors on the Planning Committee for North East Lincolnshire Council approved proposals for a controversial on-land intensive salmon farm in Cleethorpes, with four opposing and seven in favour. With plans to produce 5,000 tonnes of dead fish per year, there are no other fish farms of this scale in operation currently in the UK. Once constructed, the facility will be one of the largest in the world.

Each year more than 200,000 tonnes of foie gras made by force-feeding are imported into the UK. Its production is so cruel that it is illegal to make in the UK, yet we hypocritically continue to permit imports. Previously unpublished images taken inside several duck farms in France show the terrible animal suffering involved in foie gras production.

Following conversations with Animal Equality, Giles Watling MP successfully tabled a Westminster Debate, speaking up for millions of ducks and geese trapped in cruel foie gras farms.