3 March, 2016

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Companies engaged in factory farming face many risks that could affect their future profits, suggests the campaign group ShareAction. It highlights the increased risk of disease outbreak in intensive farming enterprises; the potential for litigation, bans or fines in relation to water pollution; its reliance on feed inputs with volatile pricing; concerns around staff health and welfare; and the potential for future legislation on methane emissions or antibiotic use.

As standards and expectations from society and regulators continue to rise (seeEU legislation on animal welfare), the companies that fail to upgrade their facilities could find themselves stranded by the high cost of conversion. In the US, for example, it is estimated that the meat industry would face additional costs ofmore than $700m [pdf] if antibiotic rules similar to those in some parts of Europe were introduced.