What is Factory Farming?
Millions of farm animals are reared behind the closed doors of the
factory farm. They are crated, crammed or confined. Often kept in conditions of
utter deprivation. They are treated as little more than production machines.
MANY SOWS are forced to give birth (farrow) in the farrowing crate. They are unable to build a nest for their piglets and cannot turn around. Over 80% of sows in Britain are crated in this way when farrowing
HENS are imprisoned for life in a battery cage. Their cage is so small they can't even stretch their wings. They would really like to scratch at the ground, perch, dustbathe and make a nest. In the battery cage, they can do none of these things. They are caged like this all day, every day. In Britain alone about 30 million egg laying hens are kept in battery cages.
BROILER CHICKENS are reared for meat - tens of thousands to a shed. They are forced to grow at twice their natural rate. As a result many will suffer bone deformities before they are slaughtered at just 6-7 weeks old. Over 600 million broiler chickens are reared annually under these conditions in the British Isles.
MILLIONS OF TURKEYS are also crammed into huge windowless sheds. They often have part of their beaks cut off to prevent aggression. They may suffer from painful breast blisters and ulcerated feet due to the often filthy conditions.
DAIRY COWS are being pushed to breaking point to produce ever more milk. Frequently infected with painful mastitis, often lame, most cows produce 2 or 3 calves and then get slaughtered - worn out years before their time. Their male calves usually get exported to cruel veal crate farms in Europe.
Factory farming has even taken to the water. Salmon and trout are crowded into tiny cages or pens. They often become stressed and prone to disease.
Already, farm animals are being pushed to their natural limits to maximize production. Genetic engineering threatens to put these animal "machines" into
overdrive. By altering their genetic make-up animals will be made to grow even
faster, bigger or leaner. What price will they pay in further suffering?