Factory Farming

Grigorios Moraitis/Getty Images


Billions of farm animals suffer in factory farms globally, confined their whole lives to cages so small they can barely move. HSI works with governments, corporations, producers and institutions to enact reform, end intensive confinement farming and promote alternatives to inhumane farming practices.

Pig in gestation crate

3.8 Months

Length of time most breeding sows are confined to gestation crates


81 billion

Chickens raised for food annually around the world 

Cows in India


Percentage of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture globally

The Issue

Frank Loftus/The HSUS

Whole industries have been built on animal suffering, but it doesn’t have to be that way. HSI is working to end the intensive confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages and pregnant sows in gestation crates. We use science and advocacy to catalyze industry, corporate, financial and public policy reform. We work to ensure that change is implemented on the ground and to facilitate the adoption of better farming systems. Businesses are increasingly realizing the economic value of more humane purchasing policies, and farms are moving to meet the higher welfare requirements of their customers.

Factory farming facts:

  • Egg-laying hens confined to battery cages spend their entire lives in a space less than the length and width of a standard sheet of paper.
  • Gestation crates are so small that breeding sows can’t even turn around. Shortly before giving birth, they are moved into similarly restrictive farrowing crates.
  • Meat, egg and milk consumption is rising globally, spurring increased use of intensive confinement systems to meet demand.
  • While farm animal welfare reform has made progress in affluent nations, developing and emerging countries are increasingly using intensive confinement systems.
  • Contributions, including public tax money, to international financial institutions from countries that have banned intensive confinement support large agribusiness facilities in emerging markets that employ these systems.

Our work in action


Take the “no cages” pledge

Join us in fighting the cruel confinement of farm animals

More you can do

1. Make better food choices to help create a more humane society.

Read about plant-based eating.

2. Join us on Facebook.

3. Join us on Instagram.

Become an Animal Defender

Help animals around the world who are suffering in factory farms and other cruel situations.

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