Humane Being's S.C.R.A.P. Library
How Factory Farming Harms People, Planet and Animals

Factory Farming by species

Overview of the scope and size of the problem

Definitions and limitations

There is no formal definition of factory farming but environmental permits are required if a farm holds more than 40 000 birds, 2 000 fattening pigs or 750 sows There are no thresholds for farm sizes for other species

At the end of September 2021, Environment Agency statistics showed that England has 1097 poultry farms with over 40,000 birds on each of them, 200 farms with over 2000 fattening pigs and 35farms each with over 750 breeding sows.Animal numbers below these thresholds and for other species are not recorded

Any definition is difficult because, it isn’t necessary for there to be a building or permanent structure for example in the case of Scottish salmon we would want to argue that they are factory farmed - due to high stocking densities and high degree of confinement and intensive rearing practices compared to natural conditions and Wild salmon is no longer fished commercially anywhere in the UK .

Estimated Population in the UK
Kept Where
Land Animals
1,00,000,000 slaughtered annually
70%-75% in factory farms
Broiler Chickens
106,000,000 slaughtered in 2021
95% are housed in intensive unites
Egg-laying Hens
40,500,000 each year
There are currently estimated to be 41 million egg laying hens in the UK 42 caged, 56 free range (including three per cent organic), and two per cent barn
Beef Cows
Hard to get a figure as diary cows are also slaughtered for meat.
Less than 50 of British beef comes from suckler herds (cows grazing on fields) and half of all beef comes from slaughtered dairy cows and calves
2,620,000 dairy cows in the UK 2021
Approximately 16 per cent of dairy farms now use zero or severely restricted grazing systems and it is likely that the trend will increase as profit is placed before the cows’ wellbeing
111,120 in the UK 2021 excluding NI
Most farmed goats are kept for their entire lives in zero grazing (they never go outside) or very limited grazing units
Livestock population density maps for GB
10,000,000 in 2020 in the UK
93% of pig meat is from pigs raised entirely indoors, most on intensive farms 98% of pig meat is from animals raised indoors most of their lives
Rainbow Trout
9,400,000 which is 7032 tonnes/ avg rainbow trout size of 750g 2020
50 active sites
data shows the increasing size of fish being produced, in line with the intensification of husbandry in land animals
900,000 slaughtered in 2021
windowless factory farms are the standard consisting of 90% of UK turkey production, with up to 25 000 turkeys in the shed
Male Chicks
45,000,000 is the DE figure
baby chick
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