Sir - In response to Jon Burgess' inaccurate letter and to set the record straight, PETA US operates a single shelter of last resort in an impoverished part of Virginia, and in addition to sterilising tens of thousands of animals for little or no charge in order to tackle the overwhelming overpopulation of homeless cats and dogs, it also offers humane euthanasia to those sick and dejected animals who have no hope of recovery or rehabilitation – often at their owners' request.

On the other hand, mega-farms such as the one proposed in Upton Snodsbury bring animals into the world just to kill them (more than 100,000 chickens every year if it goes ahead). And unlike the sick, injured or otherwise unadoptable animals for whom PETA US provides a painless and merciful death, the chickens bred at this industrial monstrosity would spend their final moments shackled upside down in terror before having their throats cut open.

Modern breeding methods have ensured that chickens grow so large so fast that they often become crippled under their own weight.

In addition to being hell on Earth for animals, mega-farms are a blight on the local landscape, creating traffic, noise, pollution and unpleasant smells.

The proposed industrial unit wouldn't just affect those in the local area, either.

According to the United Nations, animal agriculture "is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global".

So far, almost 30,000 people have signed PETA's petition to the council asking it to reject these plans, and anyone who wants to join us can sign up on our website,

Ben Williamson

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)