In general, animal abuse is any form of action that involves either “neglect or intentional cruelty” toward animals. Animal neglect is defined as inadequacy or entire absence of basic necessities such as food and water for animals. Intentional cruelty, on the other hand, is deliberate inhumane actions perpetrated towards animals that cause them mental or physical sufferings. Similarly, industrial farm animal abuse is any form of animal abuse that takes place in factory farming.
This report aims at analysing the gravity of the issue, expecting to raise people’s awareness about it.
Thus, this research focuses on common forms of industrial farm animal abuse, its effects on humans and possible measures to overcome it.
Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) has been defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “agriculture enterprises where animals are kept and raised in’. However, there have been cases recorded in which the animals are kept in confinements that are far from what society would consider as suitable and livable for the animals.
Farm Sanctuary observes that 95% of laying hens bred are cramped in battery cages with 5-10 hens each, leaving them with floor space smaller than a letter paper individually. Despite its major benefits being cost-efficient and more hygienic, battery cages abuse the hens as it restrains the latter from their natural behaviours resulting in frustration which is considered as mental abuse.
Defined as “individual housing for sows during the time of pregnancy”, gestation crates are usually only slightly bigger than the sows’ bodies which not only cause discomfort, but also open possibilities of ammonia and respiratory issues as the sows live right above their manures.
A research conducted on 42 sows kept individually in gestation stalls and 43 sows kept in group housing also shows that the sows in gestation stalls are more prone to various types of claw injuries.
Food and Drug Administration reported that approximately 80% of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used on livestocks, in which 70% are therapeutically useful for humans. This shows how most of the antibiotics are spent on livestocks when they could be used on humans instead as they are not medically purposive on animals. Viswanathan points out the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production’s 2008 report which highlighted the hindered legislative efforts attempted to confine non-therapeutic antibiotics use to a certain limit by the drug and livestock industries at both federal and state levels.
Debeaking is the process of eliminating bird animals’ beaks fractionally, which is commonly practised in factory farming to lessen the risks of problems problems related to the poultry animals pecking each other. Despite the number of issues like cannibalism and death that it can thwart, this process still causes sufferings by triggering acute pain to the animals experiencing it due to the nociceptors in the tip of their beaks.