Cattle / Environment / Livestock Systems

Cattle business driving rain forest clearing

Demand for beef products, particularly in Britain and Europe, has led ranchers to raze thousands of acres of Amazon rain forest to raise cattle. The cattle business represents the greatest threat to the Amazon rain forest, 80% of which still stands today. A three-year investigation by Greenpeace found cattle ranchers have followed the inroads by loggers and cleared out increasingly large areas at increasingly rapid rates.

Four-year old Daniel Santos da Silva and his older brother Diego Mota dos Santos, 10, heard their first gunshots in April. Their father was shot in a dispute over land on a cattle ranch near the Brazilian town of El Dorado, in the Amazonian state of Para. The boys heard he was taken to hospital, but they have not seen him since.

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