On this page the abuses are categorized
by animal. We also distinguish 5
types of objections to factory farming
(also see above).
on the image for enlargement
Pigs have to be kept in the dark for
nearly 24 hours to keep them calm. As
from 2002 pig breeders will be compelled
to keep pigs on two thirds of solid floor.
One third of a pig's floor is made of
grid, to let the manure fall through.
For this reason they are in the smell
of ammonia all day long. The animals stand
on the grid floor all day, which cause
them to suffer from foot injuries. Because
they live almost permanent in half or
complete darkness (to keep them calm)
in very small cages, they are not used
to anything and they panic when they have
to be transported to the slaughterhouse
(usually after 3 to 6 months). This is
all the worse during
long distance exportations. Just in
the Netherlands alone, about 10.000 pigs
and piglets are transported every day,
to go to the slaughterhouse or to be fattened
up in a far away country. Pigs are bad
travellers. They are very sensitive to
stress and get sick very easily along
When they have youngsters, sows
are jammed between two rails, so that
they cannot turn around and take care of
the piglets, only feed them. This
is done to prevent the sow from crushing
a piglet to death, because of the lack of
space. The piglets are brought to the weaning
section after the nursing period of 3 to
4 weeks (instead of the natural 14 weeks).
At the age of about 72 days they go to the
fattening farm, where 14 of them are put
in a sty of 10 m², usually on a grid
floor without straw.
The males (boars) are
castrated without anaesthesia, in order
to satisfy the foreign market, because of
the alleged influence of male hormones on
the scent of the meat. This actually isn't
the case with pigs that are slaughtered
at such a young age.
Sows suffer from severe stress (e.g. heart-
and stomach symptoms) because of the limitation
of freedom of movement. Out of frustration
they often chew
on the rails of their cage. Naturally,
pigs are very playful and intelligent animals.
Read more about the welfare problems of
pigs on the site of
CIWF (Compassion in World Farming).
At the beginning of the year 2000, an investigation
of the AID (Dutch Inspection Service which
checks the compliance with the law in accordance
with animals in Holland) showed that over
50% of the farmers violate even the minimum
welfare regulations for pigs and deliberately
make the animals suffer. More often than
not, the pigs are kept in very tight housing,
dim to dark sties, with a lack of distraction
material. By keeping the animals in smaller
cages, pig breeders can avoid the purchase
of ammonia rights.
on the image for enlargement
Dairy cows, at average, don't live longer
than four and a half years. In ideal circumstances
they can reach the age of thirty, but their
production level diminishes from the age
of about six. During their lives they have
a calf every year, because this is the only
way to start the production of milk.
10% of the
cows have to stay in the stable their entire
life, to obtain a higher production level.
If farmers will not be legally obliged
to keep the animals on the meadow for
a part of the year, by the year 2015 (as
expected), 75% of all cows in the Netherlands
will be kept inside.
The calf is taken away immediately or after
a week at the most, to prevent bonding between
mother and child. They are kept in hutches.
These are the white, domed, igloo-like structures
that some farmers use as outdoor "nurseries".
The hutch keeps the young calves isolated
from other calves. In their first eight
weeks the calves have a strong tendency
to suck. When they are not allowed to drink
at their mother they would suck at the bodyparts
of other calves.
chicks crawl out of their eggs in the
hatchery, they are moved to a laying or
fattening farm, depending on their race
and sex. The young cocks are 'worthless'
and are killed with carbon dioxide in
a plastic bag or they are shredded. The
chicks that go to the battery will live
in a shed with long rows of cages made
of wire mesh, with three or more storeys
on top of each other. The animals live
in small cages, 4 chickens are crammed
together; the cages have a dimension of
45x50cm (like a large computer monitor).
They lay their eggs on the wire mesh and
cannot spread their wings. As a result
of this distressing situation they peck
at each other. That's why their beaks
are burnt (without anaesthesia). The chickens
don't have a roost to sleep on and a disrupted
day/night rhythm is forced on them, to
have them lay as many eggs as possible.
Even worse are the conditions for geese
and fattening ducks: forced feeding for
hens live for about one year, then they
have laid approximately 300
eggs and the only purpose left for them
is to serve in the chicken soup. See also
Fattening chicks live for about 6 weeks,
then they are slaughtered.
In this short period of time they grow extremely
fast from chick
grown chicken on behalf of special food.
Would they live any longer under these circumstances,
they would grow way too heavy and literally
grow to death.
When they have to be transported to the
slaughterhouse they are violently pressed
in crates, with a big chance of wing and
foot fractures. Under these stressful circumstances
they are transported on (half-open)
trucks to the slaughterhouse. To prevent
the chickens from getting more fractures
and bleedings, many poultry slaughterhouses
use a lower electric voltage for stunning
the chicks than is legally compelled. The
meat of these chicks is sold as chicken
meat, which stands for deception and cruelty.
In the commercial turkey farming, the
animals are kept with thousands in a small,
dark space. This often leads to aggression,
foot problems, stress, feather pecking and
cannibalism. Because of the intensive way
of farming, it is not unusual that in the
first week of their lives, 40% of the turkeys
die! The aim of this branch is to fatten
the turkeys as quickly as possible. The
breeding policy is focussed on a fast growing
speed. A radical consequence of this selection
is the fact that it is impossible for these
animals to mate in a natural way. The cocks
are too heavily bred. The hens can only
be fertilised by artificial insemination.
In the spring the young animals are born
in cages. After seven months (when the animals
have their winter fur) they are killed and
skinned. During their short lives, the animals
live in cages that are way too small. They
cannot run, hide or escape. They have no
swimming or fishing water at their disposal.
They only have a drinking nipple in their
cage. Minks are wild predators, and they
have the same qualities as their congeners
living in the natural state. It's no wondering
their boredom and frustration drive them
crazy. This is shown in the abnormal
behaviour the minks display. This behaviour
consists of the continuous repetition of
useless movements (you can compare this
with the predators living in bad zoos, they
continuously stroll back and forth). Apart
from that, minks often bite their own tail
or fur. They frequently walk in rounds or
constantly turn their heads around the drinking
The does (female rabbits) are nothing
more than disposables. When a doe can't
have seven litters a year anymore, she is
disposed of. The replacement percentage
of does is about 90%! Besides, annually
about 55% of the does are killed because
of illness. This means there's a doe replacement
percentage of 145%!
There is also a high death rate among young
rabbits; about 15% of the youngsters die
before they're taken away from their mothers.
After that, about 10% of them die. These
are frightful figures, mostly caused by
the terrible housing of the animals in the
intensive rabbit farming.
On our videopage
all abuses during the international
transportations, which take days, are
amplified. Animals like sheep are transported
from England to for example Greece, where
they are slaughtered without anaesthesia.
Horses and donkeys from Lithuania are slaughtered
in Italy. Pigs from Holland are also transported
to foreign countries, f.e. to northern Italy
to get slaughtered there for the sole fact
that by doing so their meat returns on the
Dutch market under the culinary qualification
To prevent these animals from vomiting
in the trucks, the animals often don't get
any food the day before they're put on transportation.
The animals are chased from the dark stables
to the truck, in a very rough manner. Even
before the journey is started, the animals
are very upset. Mostly in the southern European
countries, animals are slaughtered without
anaesthesia or with an insufficient one.
But also in the slaughterhouses in Holland
many chickens meet this fate. Also the ritual
slaughtering by Muslims are often without
anaesthesia, which causes the animals to
Dolphins are often tied up in the nets
that have a length of some miles, and they
cannot escape a slow drowning death.
When fishermen are using trawl nets, not
only the acquired fish are caught. More
than that, 70% of the catch is thrown back
overboard, because the fish are too small
to be legally justified for sale, or because
the admitted quota is reached, or even because
the fish is not interesting, commercially
speaking. The fish that are thrown overboard
often are already crushed to death, choked,
or died in another way. Anyone who isn't
touched by the suffering of fish during
the catch, is referred to the additional
catch of e.g. mammals
like dolphins, which are often caught
at the tuna catch.
The trawl nets destroy the bottom of the
sea, as a result of which the ecological
system is completely out of balance, and
lost for a long time. The seas are almost
emptied and left completely disturbed. At
this moment the total file of fish on earth
is 50% of what it used to be a few decades
ago. Fish is not only caught; it is also
bred. Some fish, like salmon, are raised
in very large floating tanks; this way of
breeding looks exactly like factory farming,
with all its disadvantages.