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Interior of a hog confinement barn or piggery

Factory farming is the practice of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses.[1][2][3][4][5] The main product of this industry is meat, milk and eggs for human consumption.[6]

Confinement at high stocking density is one part of a systematic effort to produce the highest output at the lowest cost by relying on economies of scale, modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade. Confinement at high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions.[7] In addition, antibiotics are used to stimulate livestock growth by killing intestinal bacteria.[8] There are differences in the way factory farming techniques are practiced around the world. There is a continuing debate over the benefits and risks of factory farming. The issues include the efficiency of food production; animal welfare; whether it is essential for feeding the growing global human population; the environmental impact and the health risks.

The UN and OIE estimate that in coming decades there will be billions of additional consumers in developing countries eating meat factory farmed in developing countries, but currently only about 40 out of the around 200 countries in the world have the capacity to adequately respond to a health crisis originating from animal disease (such as swine flu, avian flu, West Nile virus, bluetongue, and foot-and-mouth disease).The WHO states that intensive chicken farming increases the chance of a pandemic.[9]

A commercial chicken house raising "broiler" pullets for meat



Factory farming

The Oxford English Dictionary attributes the first recorded use of "factory farming" to an American journal of economics in 1890.[10] It is now used widely by mainstream news organizations, including the BBC, The Washington Post, and CNN. A 1998 documentary, A Cow at My Table, shows the term is also used within the agricultural industry, although it is regarded by sections of the industry as a term used by activists.[11] The Encyclopaedia Britannica writes that the term is "descriptive of standard farming practice in the U.S." and frequently used by animal rights activists.[12] Webster's New Millennium defines it as "a system of large-scale industrialized and intensive agriculture that is focused on profit with animals kept indoors and restricted in mobility."[13]

Animal Feeding Operation (AFO)

"An animal feeding operation is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a lot or facility where animals are kept 45 days of the year or more [and] structures or animal traffic prevents vegetative growth. It is different from a EPA's definition of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) which is an animal feeding operation larger than a given size."[14]

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

In the U.S., some factory farms are also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)[15][16] confined animal feeding operations,[17] or intensive livestock operations (ILOs).[18] "A confined animal feeding operation means a lot or facility, together with any associated treatment works, where both of the following conditions are met: First, animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period. And secondly, crops, vegetation, forage growth, or post-harvest residues are not sustained over any portion of the operation lot or facility." The definition is used as part of waste management and environmental protection laws to deal with the concentrated pollution from large quantities of animal waste.[19][20]


CAFOs and factory farms can be mostly indoors or mostly outdoors operations. The "confinement at high stocking density" aspect refers to lack of natural vegetation that the animals can eat and that can naturally process the resulting animal waste. High stocking density destroys the vegetation and produces unacceptable pollution from the animal waste in run-off and ground water unless it is handled appropriately, so laws have been enacted to deal with that; thus the legal definition for the term CAFO.


Agriculture adopted more intensive methods during the 18th century, with this growth in production best characterized by the Agricultural Revolution, where improvements in farming techniques allowed for significantly improved yields, and supported the urbanization of the population during the Industrial Revolution.

Innovations in agriculture beginning in the late 19th century paralleled developments in mass production in other industries. The identification of nitrogen and phosphorus as critical factors in plant growth led to the manufacture of synthetic fertilizers, making possible more intensive types of agriculture.

The first animals to be factory farmed were chickens.[21] The discovery of vitamins and their role in animal nutrition, in the first two decades of the 20th century, led to vitamin supplements, which in 1920s America allowed chickens to be raised indoors.[22] The discovery of antibiotics and vaccines facilitated raising livestock in larger numbers by reducing disease. Chemicals developed for use in World War II gave rise to synthetic pesticides. Developments in shipping networks and technology have made long-distance distribution of agricultural produce feasible.

According to the BBC, factory farming in Britain began in 1947 when a new Agriculture Act granted subsidies to farmers to encourage greater output by introducing new technology, in order to reduce Britain's reliance on imported meat. The United Nations writes that intensification of animal production was seen as a way of providing food security.[23]

In 1960's America pigs and cows began to be raised on factory farms.[24] This innovation then spread to Western Europe. In Britain, the agriculture correspondent of The Guardian wrote in 1964:

Factory farming, whether we like it or not, has come to stay. The tide will not be held back, either by the humanitarian outcry of well meaning but sometimes misguided animal lovers, by the threat implicit to traditional farming methods, or by the sentimental approach to a rural way of life. In a year which has been as uneventful on the husbandry side as it has been significant in economic and political developments touching the future of food procurement, the more far-seeing would name the growth of intensive farming as the major development.[25]

From its American and West European heartland factory farming became globalised in the later years of the twentieth century and is still expanding and replacing traditional practices of stock rearing in an increasing number of countries.[26] In 1990 factory farming accounted for 30% of world meat production.[27] By 2005 this had risen to 40%.[28]

Nature of the practice


Agricultural production across the world doubled four times between 1820 and 1975[29] to feed a global population of one billion human beings in 1800 and 6.5 billion in 2002.[30]

During the same period, the number of people involved in farming dropped as the process became more automated. In the 1930s, 24 percent of the American population worked in agriculture compared to 1.5 percent in 2002; in 1940, each farm worker supplied 11 consumers, whereas in 2002, each worker supplied 90 consumers.[30]

The number of farms has also decreased, and their ownership is more concentrated. In the U.S., four companies produce 81 percent of cows, 73 percent of sheep, 57 percent of pigs and 50 percent of chickens.[31] In 1967, there were one million pig farms in America; as of 2002, there were 114,000,[32] with 80 million pigs (out of 95 million) killed each year on factory farms as of 2002, according to the U.S. National Pork Producers Council.[30] According to the Worldwatch Institute, 74 percent of the world's poultry, 43 percent of beef, and 68 percent of eggs are produced this way.[15]

Europe has become increasingly skeptical of factory farming, after a series of diseases such as BSE (mad cow) and foot and mouth disease affected its agricultural industries, yet despite these outbreaks there are indications that the industrialized production of farm animals is set to increase globally. According to Denis Avery of the Hudson Institute, Asia increased its consumption of pork by 18 million tons in the 1990s.[33] As of 1997, the world had a stock of 900 million pigs, which Avery predicts will rise to 2.5 billion pigs by 2050.[33] He told the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley that three billion pigs will thereafter be needed annually to meet demand.[34]

Distinctive characteristics

Cows in a factory farm in the U.S.

Factory farms hold large numbers of animals, typically cows, pigs, turkeys, or chickens, often indoors, typically at high densities. The aim of the operation is to produce as much meat, eggs, or milk at the lowest possible cost. Food is supplied in place, and a wide variety of artificial methods are employed to maintain animal health and improve production, such as the use of antimicrobial agents, vitamin supplements, and growth hormones. Physical restraints are used to control movement or actions regarded as undesirable. Breeding programs are used to produce animals more suited to the confined conditions and able to provide a consistent food product.[citation needed]

The distinctive characteristic of factory farms is the intense concentration of livestock. At one farm (Farm 2105) run by Carrolls Foods of North Carolina, the second-largest pig producer in the U.S., twenty pigs are kept per pen and each confinement building or "hog parlor" holds 25 pens.[35] The company's chief executive officer, F.J. "Sonny" Faison, has said: "It's all a supply-and-demand price question … The meat business in this country is just about perfect, uncontrolled supply-and-demand free enterprise. And it continues to get more and more sophisticated, based on science. Only the least-cost producer survives in agriculture."[36] Faison states tongue-in-cheek:

They're in state-of-the-art confinement facilities. The conditions that we keep these animals in are much more humane than when they were out in the field. Today they're in housing that is environmentally controlled in many respects. And the feed is right there for them all the time, and water, fresh water. They're looked after in some of the best conditions, because the healthier and [more] content that animal, the better it grows. So we're very interested in their well-being—up to an extent.[37]

Key issues


The large concentration of animals, animal waste, and the potential for dead animals in a small space poses ethical issues. It is recognized that some techniques used to sustain intensive agriculture can be cruel to animals.[38] As awareness of the problems of intensive techniques has grown, there have been some efforts by governments and industry to remove inappropriate techniques.

In the UK, the Farm Animal Welfare Council was set up by the government to act as an independent advisor on animal welfare in 1979.[39] and expresses its policy as five freedoms: from hunger & thirst; from discomfort; from pain, injury or disease; to express normal behavior; from fear and distress.

There are differences around the world as to which practices are accepted and there continue to be changes in regulations with animal welfare being a strong driver for increased regulation. For example, the EU is bringing in further regulation to set maximum stocking densities for meat chickens by 2010, where the UK Animal Welfare Minister commented, "The welfare of meat chickens is a major concern to people throughout the European Union. This agreement sends a strong message to the rest of the world that we care about animal welfare.”[40]

However, given the assumption that intensive farming techniques are a necessity, it is recognized that some apparently cruel techniques are better than the alternative. For example, in the UK, de-beaking of chickens is deprecated, but it is recognized that it is a method of last resort, seen as better than allowing vicious fighting and ultimately cannibalism.[38] Between 60 and 70 percent[41] of six million breeding sows in the U.S. are confined during pregnancy, and for most of their adult lives, in 2 ft (0.61 m) by 7 ft (2.1 m) gestation crates.[3][42] According to pork producers and many veterinarians, sows will fight if housed in pens. The largest pork producer in the U.S. said in January 2007 that it will phase out gestation crates by 2017.[3] They are being phased out in the European Union, with a ban effective in 2013 after the fourth week of pregnancy.[43] With the evolution of factory farming, there has been a growing awareness of the issues amongst the wider public, not least due to the efforts of animal rights and welfare campaigners.[44] As a result gestation crates, one of the more contentious practices, are the subject of laws in the U.S.,[45] Europe[46] and around the world to phase out their use as a result of pressure to adopt less confined practices'.

Human health impact

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), farms on which animals are intensively reared can cause adverse health reactions in farm workers. Workers may develop acute and chronic lung disease, musculoskeletal injuries, and may catch infections that transmit from animals to human beings.[47]

Pesticides are used to control organisms which are considered harmful[48] and they save farmers money by preventing product losses to pests.[49] In the US, about a quarter of pesticides used are used in houses, yards, parks, golf courses, and swimming pools[50] and about 70% are used in agriculture.[49] However, pesticides can make their way into consumers' bodies which can cause health problems. One source of this is bioaccumulation in animals raised on factory farms.[50][51][52]

The CDC writes that chemical, bacterial, and viral compounds from animal waste may travel in the soil and water. Residents near such farms report problems such as unpleasant smell, flies and adverse health effects.[16]

The CDC has identified a number of pollutants associated with the discharge of animal waste into rivers and lakes, and into the air. The use of antibiotics may create antibiotic-resistant pathogens; parasites, bacteria, and viruses may be spread; ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorus can reduce oxygen in surface waters and contaminate drinking water; pesticides and hormones may cause hormone-related changes in fish; animal feed and feathers may stunt the growth of desirable plants in surface waters and provide nutrients to disease-causing micro-organisms; trace elements such as arsenic and copper, which are harmful to human health, may contaminate surface waters.[16]

In the European Union, growth hormones are banned on the basis that there is no way of determining a safe level. The UK has stated that in the event of the EU raising the ban at some future date, to comply with a precautionary approach, it would only consider the introduction of specific hormones, proven on a case by case basis.[53] In 1998, the European Union banned feeding animals antibiotics that were found to be valuable for human health. Furthermore, in 2006 the European Union banned all drugs for livestock that were used for growth promotion purposes. As a result of these bans, the levels of antibiotic resistance in animal products and within the human population showed a decrease.[54]

The various techniques of factory farming have been associated with a number of European incidents where public health has been threatened or large numbers of animals have had to be slaughtered to deal with disease. Where disease breaks out, it may spread more quickly, not only due to the concentrations of animals, but because modern approaches tend to distribute animals more widely.[55][citation needed]. The international trade in animal products increases the risk of global transmission of virulent diseases such as swine fever,[56] BSE, foot and mouth and bird flu.

In April 2009, lawmakers in the Mexican state of Veracruz accused large-scale hog and poultry operations of being breeding grounds of a pandemic swine flu, although they did not present scientific evidence to support their claim. A swine flu which quickly killed more than 100 infected persons in that area, appears to have begun in the vicinity of a Smithfield subsidiary pig CAFO.[57]

Animal health impact

Confinement and overcrowding of animals results in a lack of exercise and natural locomotory behavior, which weakens their bones and muscles. An intensive poultry farm provides the optimum conditions for viral mutation and transmission - thousands of birds crowded together in a closed, warm, and dusty environment is highly conducive to the transmission of a contagious disease. Selecting generations of birds for their faster growth rates and higher meat yields has left birds’ immune systems less able to cope with infections and there is a high degree of genetic uniformity in the population, making the spread of disease more likely. Further intensification of the industry has been suggested by some as the solution to avian flu, on the rationale that keeping birds indoors will prevent contamination. However, this relies on perfect, fail-safe biosecurity – and such measures are near impossible to implement. Movement between farms by people, materials, and vehicles poses a threat and breaches in biosecurity are possible. Intensive farming may be creating highly virulent avian ‘flu strains. With the frequent flow of goods within and between countries, the potential for disease spread is high.[58] Confinement and overcrowding of animals' environment presents the risk of contamination of the meat from viruses and bacteria. Feedlot animals reside in crowded conditions and often spend their time standing in their own waste. A dairy farm with 2,500 cows may produce as much waste as a city of 411,000 people, and unlike a city in which human waste ends up at a sewage treatment plant, livestock waste is not treated. As a result, feedlot animals have the potential of exposure to various viruses and bacteria via the manure and urine in their environment. Furthermore, the animals often have residual manure on their bodies when they go to slaughter.[59]

Environmental impact

Concentrating large numbers of animals in factory farms is a major contribution to global environmental degradation, through the need to grow feed (often by intensive methods using excessive fertiliser and pesticides), pollution of water, soil and air by agrochemicals and manure waste, and use of limited resources (water, energy).[60]

Livestock production is also particularly water-intensive in indoor, intensive systems. Eight per cent of global human water use goes towards animal production.[60]

Industrial production of pigs and poultry is an important source of GHG emissions and is predicted to become more so. On intensive pig farms, the animals are generally kept on concrete with slats or grates for the manure to drain through. The manure is usually stored in slurry form (slurry is a liquid mixture of urine and faeces). During storage on farm, slurry emits methane and when manure is spread on fields it emits nitrous oxide and causes nitrogen pollution of land and water. Poultry manure from factory farms emits high levels of nitrous oxide and ammonia.[60]

Organic pig meat production has a lower global warming potential per kg than does intensive pig meat production. The energy input for free-range poultry meat and eggs is higher than for factory-farmed poultry meat and eggs, but GHG emissions are lower.[60]

Environmental impacts of factory farming can include:

  • Deforestation for animal feed production
  • Unsustainable pressure on land for production of high-protein/high-energy animal feed
  • Pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser manufacture and use for feed production
  • Unsustainable use of water for feed-crops, including groundwater extraction
  • Pollution of soil, water and air by nitrogen and phosphorus from fertiliser used for feed-crops and from manure
  • Land degradation (reduced fertility, soil compaction, increased salinity, desertification)
  • Loss of biodiversity due to eutrophication, acidification, pesticides and herbicides
  • Worldwide reduction of genetic diversity of livestock and loss of traditional breeds
  • Species extinctions due to livestock-related habitat destruction (especially feed-cropping)[60]

Animal welfare impact

Animal welfare impacts of factory farming can include:

  • Close confinement systems (cages, crates) or lifetime confinement in indoor sheds
  • Discomfort and injuries caused by inappropriate flooring and housing
  • Restriction or prevention of normal exercise and most of natural foraging or exploratory behaviour
  • Restriction or prevention of natural maternal nesting behaviour
  • Lack of daylight or fresh air and poor air quality in animal sheds
  • Social stress and injuries caused by overcrowding
  • Health problems caused by extreme selective breeding and management for fast growth and high productivity
  • Reduced lifetime (longevity) of breeding animals (dairy cows, breeding sows)
  • Fast-spreading infections encouraged by crowding and stress in intensive conditions[60]
  • Male chicks, which are too scrawny for meat and incapable of laying eggs, may be liquidated as inventory[61]

Farmed animals and the law

Farmed animals are excluded by most state animal cruelty laws and the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The 28 hour law, enacted in 1873 and amended in 1994, covers farmed animals during transportation only. The law states that when animals are being transported for slaughter, the vehicle must stop every 28 hours and the animals must be let out for exercise, food, and water. The United States Department of Agriculture claims that the law does not apply to birds. The Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act is similarly limited. Originally passed in 1958, the Act requires that livestock be stunned into unconsciousness prior to slaughter. This Act also excludes birds, who make up more than 90 percent of the animals slaughtered for food, as well as rabbits and fish. Individual states all have their own animal cruelty statutes; however many states have a provision to exempt standard agricultural practices.[62]

Aspects of factory farming

  • Low monetary cost — Intensive agriculture tends to produce food that can be sold at lower cost to consumers. This is achieved by reducing land costs, management costs, and feed costs through government subsidized agricultural methods.
  • Standardization — Factory farming methods permit increased consistency and control over product output.
  • Efficiency — Animals in confinement can be supervised more closely than free-ranging animals, and diseased animals can be treated faster. Further, more efficient production of meat, milk, or eggs results in a need for fewer animals to be raised.
  • Economic contribution — The high input costs of agricultural operations result in a large influx and distribution of capital to a rural area from distant buyers rather than simply recirculating existing capital.[citation needed] A single dairy cow contributes over $1300 US to a local rural economy each year, each beef cow over $800, meat turkey $14, and so on. As Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff states, "Research estimates that the annual economic impact per cow is $13,737. In addition, each $1 million increase in PA milk sales creates 23 new jobs. This tells us that dairy farms are good for Pennsylvania's economy."[63]
  • Food safety — Reducing number and diversity of agricultural production facilities may make oversight and regulation of food quality easier.
  • Animal health — Larger farms may employ greater resources to maintain a high level of animal health. Larger farms can potentially employ expert employees who devote their working hours to assessing animal health, a task which would be cost-prohibitive for most small farms. Larger farms may be more able to make regular use of veterinarians and the resources of state and federal agricultural extension services. Industrial agriculture generally provides more mechanisms for the use of antibiotics to prevent and treat diseases than non-industrial agriculture.
  • Diseases - Intensive farming may make the evolution and spread of harmful diseases easier. Many communicable diseases spread rapidly through densely spaced populations of animals with low genetic diversity. Animals raised on antibiotics may develop antibiotic resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria ("superbugs").[64] Use of animal vaccines can create new viruses that kill people and cause flu pandemic threats. H5N1 is an example of where this might have already occurred.[65][66][67]
  • Pollution — Large quantities and concentrations of waste are produced.[68] Lakes, rivers, and groundwater are at risk when animal waste is improperly recycled. Pollutant gases are also emitted. Concentrations of animals can produce unacceptable levels of foul smells as opposed to the tolerable odours of the countryside. In less intensive conditions, natural processes can break down potential pollutants. Large farms can maintain and operate sophisticated systems to control waste products. Smaller farms may be less able to invest in the same standards of pollution control.[citation needed]
  • EthicsCruelty to animals: Crowding, drugging, and performing surgery on animals. On some farms, chicks may be debeaked when very young. Confining hens and pigs in crates no larger than the animal itself may lead to physical problems such as osteoporosis and joint pain, and psychological problems including boredom and frustration, as shown by repetitive or self-destructive actions.[69] Animal treatment is subject to welfare legislation, though there is not consensus on what is acceptable, and there is virtually no oversight by authorities.[citation needed]
  • Destruction of biodiversity — A tendency towards using single adapted breeds (a monoculture) in factory farming, both in arable and animal farming, gives uniform product designed for high yields, at the risk of increased susceptibility to disease. The loss of locally adapted breeds reduces the resilience of the agricultural system. The issue is not limited to factory farming and historically the problem is reflected in the rapid adoption of one or two strains of crops across a wide area as seen in the Irish potato famine of 1845 and the Bengal rice famine in 1942.[70] The loss of the gene pool of domesticated animals limits the ability to adapt to future problems.
  • Nutrient-poor food - Heavy reliance on non-heritage, high-yield breeds of plants and animals reduce nutrient content.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Sources discussing "intensive farming", "intensive agriculture" or "factory farming":
    • Fraser, David. Animal welfare and the intensification of animal production: An alternative interpretation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2005.
    • Turner, Jacky. "History of factory farming", United Nations: "Fifty years ago in Europe, intensification of animal production was seen as the road to national food security and a better diet ... The intensive systems - called 'factory farms' - were characterised by confinement of the animals at high stocking density, often in barren and unnatural conditions."
    • Simpson, John. Why the organic revolution had to happen, The Observer, April 21, 2001: "Nor is a return to 'primitive' farming practices the only alternative to factory farming and highly intensive agriculture."
    • Baker, Stanley. "Factory farms — the only answer to our growing appetite?, The Guardian, December 29, 1964: "Factory farming, whether we like it or not, has come to stay ... In a year which has been as uneventful on the husbandry side as it has been significant in economic and political developments touching the future of food procurement, the more far-seeing would name the growth of intensive farming as the major development." (Note: Stanley Baker was the Guardian's agriculture correspondent.)
    • "Head to head: Intensive farming", BBC News, March 6, 2001: "Here, Green MEP Caroline Lucas takes issue with the intensive farming methods of recent decades ... In the wake of the spread of BSE from the UK to the continent of Europe, the German Government has appointed an Agriculture Minister from the Green Party. She intends to end factory farming in her country. This must be the way forward and we should end industrial agriculture in this country as well."
  2. ^ Sources discussing "industrial farming" , "industrial agriculture" and "factory farming":
    • "Annex 2. Permitted substances for the production of organic foods", Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: "'Factory' farming refers to industrial management systems that are heavily reliant on veterinary and feed inputs not permitted in organic agriculture.
    • "Head to head: Intensive farming", BBC News, March 6, 2001: "Here, Green MEP Caroline Lucas takes issue with the intensive farming methods of recent decades ... In the wake of the spread of BSE from the UK to the continent of Europe, the German Government has appointed an Agriculture Minister from the Green Party. She intends to end factory farming in her country. This must be the way forward and we should end industrial agriculture in this country as well."
  3. ^ a b c Kaufmann, Mark. "Largest Pork Processor to Phase Out Crates", The Washington Post, January 26, 2007.
  4. ^ "EU tackles BSE crisis", BBC News, November 29, 2000.
  5. ^ "Is factory farming really cheaper?" in New Scientist, Institution of Electrical Engineers, New Science Publications, University of Michigan, 1971, p. 12.
  6. ^ Danielle Nierenberg (2005) Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Worldwatch Paper 121: 5
  7. ^ "Factory farming," Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007.
  8. ^ [1] Doug Gurian-Sherman. April 2008. CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations, Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, MA.
  9. ^ "The much-abused chicken is pecking back". February 17, 2010. Retrieved 05 March 2010. 
  10. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Ed. — factory
  11. ^ Alberta Farm Animal Care Update, Fall 2005
  12. ^ Britannica concise definition
  13. ^ Factory farming, Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6). Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. (accessed: April 4, 2007).
  14. ^ Environmental Protection Agency. "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)". Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  15. ^ a b "State of the World 2006," Worldwatch Institute, p. 26.
  16. ^ a b c "Concentrated animal feeding operations", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services.
  17. ^ "Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOS)/Factory Farming", Library of Michigan Bibliography.
  18. ^ Comparative Standards for Intensive Livestock Operations in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
  19. ^ General Permit Requirements for Confined Animal Feeding Operations in Virginia
  20. ^ Sierra Club Clean Water and Factory Farms - Frequently Asked Questions
  21. ^ John Steele Gordon (1996) "The Chicken Story", American Heritage, September 1996: 52-67
  22. ^ John Steele Gordon (1996) "The Chicken Story", American Heritage, September 1996: 52-67
  23. ^ "The History of Factory Farming", United Nations.
  24. ^ Danielle Nierenburg (2005) Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Worldwatch Paper 171: 15
  25. ^ Baker, Stanley. "Factory farms—the only answer to our growing appetite?", The Guardian, December 29, 1964.
  26. ^ Danielle Nierenburg (2005) Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Worldwatch Paper 171: 5
  27. ^ Danielle Nierenburg (2005) Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Worldwatch Paper 171: 5
  28. ^ Danielle Nierenburg (2005) Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry. Worldwatch Paper 171: 5
  29. ^ It doubled between 1820 and 1920; between 1920 and 1950; between 1950 and 1965; and again between 1965 and 1975. Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  30. ^ a b c Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  31. ^ Testimony by Leland Swenson, president of the U.S. National Farmers' Union, before the House Judiciary Committee, September 12, 2000.
  32. ^ Shen, Fern. "Md. Hog Farm Causing Quite a Stink," The Washington Post, May 23, 1999; and Plain, Ronald L. "Trends in U.S. Swine Industry," U.S. Meat Export Federation Conference, September 24, 1997, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 29.
  33. ^ a b Avery, Dennis. "Big Hog Farms Help the Environment," Des Moines Register, December 7, 1997, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 30.
  34. ^ Avery, Denis. "Commencement address," University of California, Berkeley, College of Natural Resources, May 21, 2000, cited in Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, p. 30.
  35. ^ Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, pp. 259.
  36. ^ Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, 2002, pp. 255–256.
  37. ^ Scully, Matthew. Dominion, St. Martin's Griffin, 2002, p. 258.
  38. ^ a b UK DEFRA comment on de-beaking recognizing it as cruel
  39. ^ Farm Animal Welfare Council
  40. ^ DEFRA press release
  41. ^ Barnett JL, Hemsworth PH, Cronin GM, Jongman EC, and Hutson GD. 2001. "A review of the welfare issues for sows and piglets in relation to housing," Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 52:1-28. Cited in: Pajor EA. 2002. "Group housing of sows in small pens: advantages, disadvantages and recent research," In: Reynells R (ed.), Proceedings: Symposium on Swine Housing and Well-being (Des Moines, Iowa: U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, June 5, pp. 37-44). In: An HSUS Report: Welfare Issues with Gestation Crates for Pregnant Sows, Humane Society of the United States.
  42. ^ The Welfare of Sows in Gestation Crates: A Summary of the Scientific Evidence., Farm Sanctuary.
  43. ^ "An HSUS Report: Welfare Issues with Gestation Crates for Pregnant Sows", The Humane Society of the United States, January 6, 2006.
  44. ^ The true cost of cheap chicken - Home News, UK -
  45. ^ Animal rights concerns grow in California
  46. ^ Washington Post: Largest Pork Processor to Phase Out Crates
  47. ^ "Factory Farming: The Impact of Animal Feeding Operations on the Environment and Health of Local Communities". Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  48. ^ The benefits of pesticides: A story worth telling. Retrieved on September 15, 2007.
  49. ^ a b Kellogg RL, Nehring R, Grube A, Goss DW, and Plotkin S (February 2000), Environmental indicators of pesticide leaching and run-off from farm fields. United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved on 3 October 2007.
  50. ^ a b Miller GT (2004), Sustaining the Earth, 6th edition. Thompson Learning, Inc. Pacific Grove, California. Chapter 9, Pages 211-216.
  51. ^ Sustainable Table article Pesticides
  52. ^ Pesticides In the Environment. Pesticide fact sheets and tutorial, module 6. Retrieved on September 19, 2007.
  53. ^ Food Standards Agency - VPC report on growth hormones in meat
  54. ^ Schneider K, Garrett L (June 19, 2009). "Non-therapeutic Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture, Corresponding Resistance Rates, and What Can be Done About It". 
  55. ^
  56. ^ EU‑AGRINET article Fighting swine fever in Europe (Project Coordinator: Dr Trevor Drew at Veterinary Laboratories Agency)
  57. ^ David Kirby (2009-04-28). "Mexican Lawmaker: Factory Farms Are "Breeding Grounds" of Swine Flu Pandemic". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  58. ^ Compassion in World Farming - Animal health and disease
  59. ^ "Food Safety Consequences of Factory Farms". Food & Water Watch. March, 2007. 
  60. ^ a b c d e f Compassion in World Farming - Environment & sustainability
  61. ^ [2]
  62. ^ [3] ALDF Farmed Animals and the Law
  64. ^ "Agricultural Antibiotic Use Contributes To 'Super-bugs' In Humans", ScienceDaily, July 5, 2005.
  65. ^ Webster, Robert G. "H5N1 Outbreaks and Enzootic Influenza", CDC.
  66. ^ "Factory farms are responsible for bird flu, according to a new report". NF News. February 20, 2007. 
  67. ^ Stephen Leahy (February 21, 2007). "Report Blames Factory Farms for Bird Flu". IPS. 
  68. ^ "Facts about Pollution from Livestock Farms". National Resource Defense Council. Retrieved 2006-05-30. 
  69. ^ "The Welfare of Intensively Kept Pigs—Report of the Scientific Veterinary Committee—Adopted 30 September 1997, European Commission, and "Opinion of the AHAW Panel related to the welfare aspects of various systems of keeping laying hens", European Food Safety Authority (7 March 2005)
  70. ^ Science and Our Agricultural Future M. S. Swaminathan UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Further reading

External links

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