Chicken on a farm, New Zealand

Factory farming

Image credit: Farmwatch

Factory farming does not just inflict unimaginable suffering on billions of animals, but the intensive and cruel methods also lead to the destruction of habitats and release climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Globally, more than 80 billion animals suffer on factory farms each year, with the vast majority cruelly confined to low-welfare farming systems.

Chick on a farm, NSW, Australia

Farm animal cruelty

From painful mutilations to rough handling and slaughter at a young age – animals on factory farms suffer on many levels.

Fire in Brazil's Amazon rainforest

Environmental impact

Intensive animal agriculture causes billions of animals to suffer annually, and also causes significant harm to the environment.

Poultry farm

Public health

Approximately three-quarters of the world’s antibiotics are used in animals, most of which are living in miserable and unsanitary conditions on factory farms.

It is estimated that 75% of all antibiotics used globally given to farmed animals. They are given to stressed animals as a band-aid to stop them from getting sick due to the conditions they are kept in, rather than fixing the issues that lead to illnesses in the first place. This can contribute to the rapid rise and spread of bacteria known as ‘superbugs’, which are resistant to medicines used to fight life-threatening diseases in humans.

It is not widely recognised that factory farming also significantly contributes to climate change. Cows and sheep belch methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are also emitted from animal manure and transport, and from deforestation for grazing and to produce feed for factory-farmed animals.

It is time we put an end to this cruel practice and transition to a high-welfare food system that is sustainable and will have fewer negative impacts on animals, human health, and the environment.

At World Animal Protection, we work tirelessly to ensure farmed animals live good lives by transforming the global food system and attitudes towards farm animal welfare.

Together, we can be the generation that ends factory farming. Forever.

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