Animal agriculture devastating Great Barrier Reef

Thousands of square kilometres of Australian bushland are being cleared every year to grow cattle and the rate of clearing is increasing.

To make it easier to understand the scale of this clearing, a new report by Terrastendo measures the clearing of land for animal agriculture in terms of rugby league fields. In Queensland alone, three-quarters of a rugby league field is cleared every minute.

The report also states:

  • The clearing contributes significantly to loss of biodiversity, the release of carbon contained in the vegetation and soil, and an ongoing loss of carbon sequestration.
  • The clearing and subsequent grazing of cattle in Queensland causes soil to be eroded and carried by adjoining streams and rivers to the coast, significantly affecting one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The Queensland Government's 2013 Scientific Consensus Statement confirmed that beef production in the surrounding catchment was responsible for 75% of sediment, 54% of phosphorous and 40% of nitrogen in the reef's waters.
  • Major environment groups are ignoring the devastating impact of beef production on the reef.

Read the full report Beef, the reef and rugby: We have a problem.

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