Nada Farhoud

Daily Mirror

Nada Farhoud's string of exclusives have helped to expose animal cruelty, shine a light on a silent crimewave in the UK countryside and uncover Britain’s environmental shame abroad.

2023 is the year of the cat in Vietnam, where they are hailed as symbols of protection and good luck. But every year one million are barbarically slaughtered, skinned, cooked and served up in restaurants here. Many are heartlessly snatched from loving homes by thieves to fuel the trade, leaving owners to live in constant fear.

On the streets of Hanoi Farhoud discovered cages full of howling, distressed cats - many still wearing their collars. The World Health Organisation says these wet markets are a ticking time bomb to public health due to the risk of rabies, trichinellosis and zoonotic diseases – viruses which jump from animals to humans.

Since her investigation was published, it was praised on Vietnamese national TV after a poll found 95% of ­Vietnamese think eating dog and cat meat is not part of their culture, while 88% support a ban on the trade.

Another special investigation found how the turnover of cheap items made to cater for our ever changing tastes - known as fast-fashion - comes at a huge environmental cost.

Farhoud travelled to Ghana which is the largest recipient of our old clothes. Many have been donated to charity shops or put in recycling bins with the very best of intentions by Brits.

But in the capital Accra, market sellers say roughly 40% of clothing imports are now of such poor quality they can’t be sold. Farhoud witnessed children playing on a foul carpet of clothing wedged into the beach. Among the debris she found dozens of British labels. She also discovered a toxic 30-foot high textile mountain, a health hazard for 40,000 of Accra’s most vulnerable citizens who live nearby. Women also risk death by carrying 55 kg bales of our cast off clothes for just 80 pence a day.

The UK is now ranked 228th out of 240 countries and territories in the world for nature depletion. Only 53% species of animals and plants remain - far below the global average of 75%.

Farhoud discovered how a hidden crimewave which has seen thousands of protected birds of prey illegally shot, trapped and poisoned in the UK. These include rare golden eagles, barn owls and white-tailed eagles, a species only recently reintroduced to England after being extinct for 240 years.

We are in the midst of a nature and climate emergency but she revealed a deliberate destruction of protected species for financial gain. Gamekeepers burn heather to encourage new shoots for red grouse to eat, saying it is a harmless way of boosting populations.

But two thirds of recorded bird crimes have taken place on land managed for or connected to the industry. Peatland fires spewing out greenhouse gas CO2 are also creating an ecological disaster, increasing the risk of flooding and wildfires, as well as harming wildlife.