5 November 2004
for immediate use
WHO YOU GONNA CALL? "DIRTBUSTERS"
SPILL THE BEANS ON DIRTY MEAT
Local campaigners will be staging protests across the UK to
highlight the health risks caused by infected meat this Saturday.
Carrying eye-catching "Dirtbusters" banners and
distributing shocking new leaflets, the protesters will be
calling on shoppers to buy safe, healthy vegetarian food instead
of dirty and dangerous meat. The local action is part of a
nationwide campaign organised by animal campaign group Viva!.
Contact Alistair Currie at Viva! on 0117 944 1000 for details
of events in your area.
The national campaign is spearheaded by Viva!'s new report,
Dishing the Dirt which exposes the human and animal
cost of meat production. Examining everything from the state
of slaughterhouses and the truth about BSE to conditions in
factory farms and the causes of food poisoning and antibiotic
resistance, the report reveals that
- more than 5 million people suffer from food poisoning each
year, most of it caused by animal products. Half of all chickens
on sale are contaminated by the food poisoning bug campylobacter;
- use of antibiotics on farms has promoted the spread of antibiotic
resistant "superbugs". Animals are routinely drugged
to attempt to control diseases like pneumonia, parasites,
dysentery, meningitis and salmonella;
- the Government body responsible for abattoirs officially
failed to meet its target for enforcing meat hygiene rules
- BSE is now found in 24 countries and is suspected to exist
in many more;
- a human epidemic of bird flu could kill tens of millions.
Viva! campaigner, Alistair Currie says: "Beneath the
glossy packaging, meat is dirty, dangerous stuff: if people
knew the truth about farms, slaughterhouses and processing
plants they certainly wouldn't be feeding it to their families.
Disease and infection are endemic in farming - things like
BSE and foot-and-mouth are just the tip of the iceberg. Of
course, the farmers and the supermarkets won't tell people
what really goes on and the Government have let us down again
and again. The leaflets we're handing out are pretty shocking
but then so is the truth. Once shoppers know what they're
really buying, then they can make up their own minds."
Notes for Editors
The fully-referenced Dishing the Dirt report will
be published soon. For further information about its contents
and the campaign itself, contact Viva!