Mega farms, or super farms as they are sometimes referred to are large scale, intensive farms.
They lack normal farming traditions and animals are not able to express their natural behaviour due to the way that they are housed in mass sheds, many never seeing daylight or ever going outdoors.
The definition of a mega farm is that the farm must have warehouses containing in excess of 2000 pigs (or 750 breeding sows), 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cows or 40,000 birds.
So why are the general public not aware of these mass institutions if there are so many of them existing already?
The answer is that existing farms have opted to expand, rather than seek new plots. This keeps them under the radar from groups and local residents that may create opposition. Also the buildings can be mistaken for large storage facilities, as there is often no sign that animals are there.
It is quite shocking to know that there is no official records held by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) on how many intensive beef units there are and that these farms do not require a government permit as the poultry and pig ones do.
It is all too easily assumed that this type of farming is something that only happens in other countries, as we see cows and hens roaming in pretty fields that we drive past.
However, there are now close to 800 of these farms in the UK and the numbers are rising constantly. In fact there has been an incredible 26% rise in just 6 years.
Approximate figures obtained in 2017 show that a staggering 80% of chickens and 75% of breeding pigs are factory farmed. And 48% of eggs are produced from hens held in battery cages.
Almost every county in England has a Mega farm now. There are now only 12 counties out of the 48 that host no pig or poultry intensive farms in our "animal loving" country.