Animal Welfare in British Farming

Overview

This is a brief introduction into how the British animal agriculture industry handles animal welfare. It covers the conditions each commonly consumed animal lives in as well as common welfare concerns.

Intensive broiler farm

1.2 billion

Animals slaughtered each year

Pig in farrowing crate

73%

Animals in factory farms

Pigs

Pork is the 3rd most commonly consumed meat in the United Kingdom. Pig farming is typically separated into production pigs which are raised for meat and sow pigs which are impregnated to birth production pigs.

Living Conditions

Almost all pigs are factory farmed

UK Government

Slaughter Age

Almost all pigs are slaughtered between 4-6 months old

RSPCA

Bacon pigs
Small joint pigs
Breeding pigs

Bacon pigs

22 weeks

Small joint pigs

15-16 weeks

Breeding pigs

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Slaughter Method

Most pigs are gassed and then have their throats slit

UK Government

Legality in United Kingdom

Prevalence in British farming

Farrowing Crates

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Piglet Thumping

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Early Death

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Artificial Insemination

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Tail Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

70% of pigs

UK Government

Tooth Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Genital Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Repeated Pregnancy Cycles

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Ineffective Stunning

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Indoor Rearing

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Chickens, Ducks and Turkeys

Chicken is the most consumed meat in the UK with approximately 1.12 billion slaughtered each year. Most meat is produced from broiler chickens with the remainder coming from spent egg laying hens.

Living Conditions

Almost all chickens are kept in factory farms

BBC

Slaughter Age

All chickens are slaughtered at a fraction of their natural lifespan

BBC

Factory farmed chickens
Free range chickens
Organic chickens

Factory farmed chickens

35 days

Free range chickens

56 days

Organic chickens

81 days

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Slaughter Method

A majority of chickens are gassed to death using carbon dioxide

UK Government

Legality in United Kingdom

Prevalence in British farming

Shed Packing Density

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Flock Thinning

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Indoor Rearing

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Fast Growing Breeds

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Bone Fractures

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Foot Rot

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Heart and Circulation Failure

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Unsuitable Flock Size

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

No Surface Water

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Early Deaths

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Non-stun slaughter

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

9% of chickens

UK Government

Dairy Cattle

Cow's milk is produced by specifically bred dairy cows with each cow averaging 8,004 liters of milk per year. For a dairy cow to produce milk they must be female and impregnated.

Living Conditions

Dairy cows live in a broad variety of conditions from outdoor to intensive indoor farms

M D March

23%Other

Slaughter Age

Dairy cows are slaughtered when their milk production declines

UK Government

Females
Culled males
Veal males

Females

8 years

Culled males

1 hour

Veal males

6-8 months

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Slaughter Method

A majority of beef and dairy cows are slaughtered with a bolt gun

UK Government

Legality in United Kingdom

Prevalence in British farming

Artificial Insemination

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Repeated Pregnancy Cycles

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Male Calf Culling

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

Prevalence in British farming

65,000 calves per year

Mother and Calf Separation

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Isolation Pens

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Milk Replacer Fluid

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Horn Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Ear Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Skin Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Increased Milk Production

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Mastitis

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Lameness

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Early Death

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Laying Hens

Each year around 12 billion eggs are consumed in the UK. These eggs are produced by specifically bred laying hens that produce up to 250 eggs per year.

Living Conditions

A majority of hens are free range or caged

UK Government

Slaughter Age

All laying hens are slaughtered at around 72 weeks old

The Guardian

Free range laying hen
Enriched cage laying hen
Male laying hens

Free range laying hen

72 weeks

Enriched cage laying hen

72 weeks

Male laying hens

1 hour

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Slaughter Method

Almost all spent laying hens are gassed to death

UK Government

Legality in United Kingdom

Prevalence in British farming

Male Chick Culling

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

At least 95%

Unnatural Egg Output

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Shed Packing Density

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Beak mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Bone Fractures

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Feather Loss

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Unsuitable flock size

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Enriched Cages

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

36% of hens

UK Government

Limited Outdoor Access

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Early Deaths

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Foot Rot

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Non-stun slaughter

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

1% of hens

UK Government

Beef Cattle

Beef is the most commonly consumed red meat in the UK. Around half of the beef produced comes from spent dairy cows, with the other half coming from beef cattle.

Living Conditions

The proportion of beef cattle living on factory farms is unknown

100%Other

Slaughter Age

A majority of beef cows are slaughtered before 2 years of age

UK Government

Cows

Cows

21 months

Birth

Natural life expectancy

Slaughter Method

A majority of beef and dairy cows are slaughtered with a bolt gun

UK Government

Legality in United Kingdom

Prevalence in British farming

Horn Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Skin Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Ear Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

100% of cows

UK Government

Genital Mutilations

Legality in United Kingdom

Legal

UK Government

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Feedlots

Legality in United Kingdom

Unknown

Prevalence in British farming

Unknown

Thank you for taking the time to read this page. We believe animal rights is an important issue and wish to get this message out to as many people as possible.

If you found this page engaging please consider sharing it.