Factory farms that use intensive confinement systems deny animals many of their most basic behavioural and physical needs. Either through confinement in cages or overcrowding in feedlots and pens, the animals aren’t able to interact socially in a normal manner. These unnatural conditions often lead to aggression amongst the animals, as well as boredom, frustration and stress.
The livestock industry often claims that these animals would not reproduce so well if they were stressed. However, we can look at puppy and kitty mills to see that this logic isn’t true. As well, drugs and hormones are routinely fed to these animals to combat the potential for disease outbreak, which is a much higher risk with so many animals so closely confined. These drugs are also given to speed up the animals’ growth.
90 percent of pigs in Manitoba are raised on factory farms, crowded into pens with no straw for rooting in or nesting.
- Sows, the females used for breeding, are individually confined in gestation crates and then farrowing crates so small that they can’t even turn around. They must carry out all of their life functions (eating, sleeping, urinating, defecating, giving birth to their young and nursing their young) in this one small area.
- The weanling pigs are living in pens on slatted or concrete floors above pits containing their own urine and feces, breathing the fumes of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide that rise from their waste.
- Laying hens used to produce eggs live in battery cages – at least three and as many as eight per cage.
- Each bird has a living space only the size of an average mouse pad (approx. 64 sq. inches)
- Battery hens are never able to spread their wings, stretch or preen their feathers.
- Battery hens are never able to “dust” on the ground or perch, as chickens naturally want to do.
- Educate yourself and your friends about how farm animals are raised.
- Ask for humanely raised meat at your local grocery store.
- Consider decreasing the amount of meat you eat.