Tackling Concentrated Animal Agriculture in the Middle East through Standards of Investment, Export Credits, and Trade

In: Middle East Law and Governance

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are the main investors in farm animal production outside their territory, prompting a mass-adoption of concentrated animal feeding operations in investment-importing states like Iran and Pakistan. Global actors like the International Finance Corporation and the Food and Agriculture Organization espouse the Middle Eastern states’ investment strategy by generously supporting it with direct payments and feed. Because intensified animal agricultural production systems are known to cause environmental pollution, threaten public health and food security, and pose a moral hazard for animals, this article makes use of existing cross-border relationships to the Middle East to counter the growing agricultural trend towards intensification. Specifically, the article examines whether and how international investment standards, export credit standards, bilateral investment treaties, and bilateral free trade agreements can be used to encourage responsible investment and trade flows that factor in the interests of animals.

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