Viva! says factory farming 'forces millions of animals in the U.K to live in over-crowded, filthy conditions' - creating breeding grounds for disease.
The campaign launch followed the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, which is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China towards the end of 2019. Since then, more than 500,000 people have died globally from the disease.
The situation has turned the spotlight onto the role our treatment of animals plays in the emergence of disease - with three in four of the world’s new or emerging infectious diseases coming from animals.
'End it before it ends us'
According to Viva!: "Responsible for nearly three million deaths a year, these diseases are largely transmitted through trading wildlife (legally and illegally) and factory farming.
"That’s why we’re calling on the U.K government to take action on our food production systems and defend public health by promoting veganism as a solution and ending factory farming, before it ends us."
Ricky Gervais adds: "Factory Farming condemns animals to a lifetime of suffering. It's cruel, inhumane and doesn't belong in this century."