THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
In the first three months of 2022, you’ve already changed the lives of 22 million animals!
I’m so grateful for advocates like you who protect animals from the damaging animal agriculture industry. You should be very proud of each achievement that was made possible by your determination to create a better world.
Because of your generous donations, actions, and support, our investigators were able to continue exposing animal abuse on factory farms. The footage from our investigation inside a dairy farm in the UK was broadcast on BBC One’s Panorama, reaching millions of viewers and prompting many to ditch dairy. Your efforts convinced 18 companies globally to eliminate some of the worst abuses for 1.2 million hens and 20 million chickens who are currently trapped in the system, by adopting new policies that will end the use of some of the cruellest farming practices such as cages. And there are so many more achievements to celebrate!
Your passion continues to inspire our team around the world to keep fighting for progress. As we move forward, I’m both honoured and excited to see what else we can accomplish with you this year.
Thank you for choosing to make a difference!
Animal Equality President
IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
Together, we’ve made significant strides to help animals in 2022 through our global campaign actions. With your determination and support, we’re tackling some of the most pressing issues impacting farmed animals. Your actions have helped advocate for mother pigs trapped in farrowing crates, spotlight the abuse of chickens, expose the dairy industry’s cruel practices, and much more.
Every campaign we launch is instrumental in creating lasting change for chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses worldwide. With each petition signature, we gain public Every campaign we launch is instrumental in creating lasting change for chickens, cows, pigs, and all other animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses worldwide. With each petition signature, we gain public support that allows us to sit at the table with key decision-makers to change existing laws and establish new legal protections for animals. By sharing our work and contacting companies and MPs on social media you’re helping to create awareness around animal suffering and hold animal abusers accountable. These actions lead to important changes like legal reforms and company policies, and sometimes they lead to facility closures. Importantly they also inform consumers of the realities of animal farming, allowing the public to make compassionate choices every time they visit a supermarket.
Your commitment to animals is pivotal to the success of each campaign. By joining forces we’re using our collective strength to push back against the industry and build a better, kinder world for animals.
ENDING FACTORY FARMING
Cows, pigs, fish, chickens and other animals spend their lives trapped inside factory farms to produce dairy, meat, and eggs. Packed into windowless sheds, for weeks pregnant pigs are confined in crates so small that they’re unable to turn around and nurse their young. Chickens live amongst their own waste, struggling to walk or stand and suffering from chronic pain. Cows endure forced, repeated impregnations, only to be separated from their calves just hours after they give birth. And hens are forced to live in cramped cages, unable to move or spread their wings.
Animals living on factory farms are denied many of their most basic needs, such as seeing sunlight, breathing fresh air or moving freely, and are routinely exploited for their bodies.
Factory Farms in the Public Spotlight
We launched the campaign Factory Farms to show the suffering animals endure in these facilities. Our petition, signed by thousands of people, calls for:
- Ending the confinement of animals in cages by 2027, as announced by the European Commission.
- A ban on the mutilation of pigs without anaesthesia.
- The end of government subsidies for industrial farming.
Putting Animals on the Agenda
Animal Equality attended two Parliamentary Receptions at the House of Commons on legislation regarding animals. During one reception, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs pledged to consider an amendment on animal welfare issues, including conducting a public inquiry into the use of cages for hens. Submitted evidence will be published in a public report. These events were attended by many influential individuals, including Members of Parliament, journalists, animal experts, and celebrities.
Presidential Meeting in Brazil
Animal Equality Executive Director, Doctor Carla Lettieri, was invited to meet with the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as well as representatives of animal protection organisations, specialists, and celebrities to discuss proposals to protect animals from cruelty. Carla highlighted how the Brazilian Constitution and the Law of Environmental Crimes can be used to prevent cruelty towards all animals, including farmed animals, and that strong action by the Brazilian government is needed.
Preventing the Rollback of Animal Protections
Animal Equality and other organisations sent a letter to the President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, and the Minister of Ecological Transition. We addressed The European Commission’s proposal to provide $548 million in financial support to industrial farming while relaxing environmental protections and delaying key actions of the Green Deal. We urged officials to not let the meat industry take advantage of the current state of the economy by stepping backwards on animal protections.
Fighting Back Against Misleading Labels
We protested in Rome against the new guidelines on food labelling proposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and the Minister of Health. The new guidelines would allow meat companies to mislead consumers by labelling meat, eggs, and milk from factory farms as products of ‘animal welfare’. In addition to hundreds of emails and thousands of tweets, we sent a letter to the Ministers demanding that cruel practices, such as castrating and cutting piglets’ tails off without anaesthesia, are not being labelled as ‘animal welfare’.
Eliminating Cages in the European Union
Animal Equality launched the second phase of the End the Cage Age campaign – a campaign that calls on the European Union to eliminate all cages on farms. After Animal Equality – together with more than 170 other organisations – gathered over 1.6 million signatures of support, in June 2021 the EU commission committed to phasing out cages by 2027. However, in order for this commitment to become law, the proposal needs to be adopted by the EU Parliament and the Council of the European Union. For this reason, our teams in Italy, Spain, and Germany are currently demanding their respective governments support the call for a ban on cages in the EU.
Encouraging a Plant-Based Diet
Animal Equality expanded its LoveVeg campaign to Latin America to help more people learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet. More than 20,000 people use our recipes every month.
Creating an Animal Welfare Commissioner
Animal Equality representatives met with members of the European Parliament to urge them to support the #EUforAnimals campaign. The campaign calls for creating a Commissioner for Animal Welfare position directly responsible for the health, food safety, and welfare of animals across the continent.
BANNING THE FORCE-FEEDING OF DUCKS AND GEESE
We’re helping ducks and geese by ending the cruel production of foie gras made by force-feeding. The practice of force-feeding not only causes enormous pain and stress for the animals but it also causes many to suffer from injuries, infections, and ruptured organs.
We’re determined to permanently ban foie gras made by force-feeding with a strategic approach. In the UK – where producing foie gras in this way is illegal – we’ve been campaigning for several years with MPs to ban the importation and sale of this cruel ‘delicacy’. And in countries where the process of force-feeding is still legal, we’re working to eliminate the production of foie gras alongside its import and sale.
US Campaign to Ban Foie Gras
Animal Equality launched a campaign calling for a complete ban on the sale and production of foie gras. Over 30,000 people have already signed the petition in support of a nationwide ban.
We’re working to introduce local and state legislation to ban force-feeding and the sale of foie gras and advancing toward a permanent ban on foie gras production in the United States. President Sharon Núñez and our Legal Advocacy Counsel Sarah Hanneken held a Q&A event to answer your questions about foie gras and how to take action in our campaign to protect ducks and geese. Sarah also led two legal advocacy workshops on ways to engage with local lawmakers.
British Celebrities Urge the Government to Ban Foie Gras Imports
Over 250,000 people joined Animal Equality in our campaign against foie gras in the United Kingdom by signing our petition. British celebrities Ricky Gervais, Peter Egan, Dr Amir Khan, and Dame Joanna Lumley also sent a letter to the UK Government urging it to follow through on its promises to ban the importation of foie gras.
Campaign Against Foie Gras in Germany
Animal Equality launched a campaign to end the force-feeding of geese and ducks for the production and importation of foie gras in Germany. Although force-feeding is already a violation of the country’s animal welfare laws, in 2020 alone Germany imported 51.5 tonnes of foie gras from other European countries. Additionally, we’re calling for a complete ban on force-feeding in Europe to be introduced as part of the ongoing revision of EU legislation about animals.
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF CHICKENS
Chickens are kept in dark, windowless sheds, forced to live in their own waste, and bred to grow so fast that they experience painful leg deformities, heart attacks and organ failure.
Internationally, we’re working to establish protections for chickens and end the breeding of chickens genetically selected to grow to an unnaturally large weight in just a few weeks causing them extreme, unnecessary suffering.
Large Italian Food Retailer Commits to Change
Following discussions with Animal Equality and other animal protection organisations, major food retailer Eataly has signed the European Chicken Commitment for Italy, pledging to meet the terms of the agreement by 2026. Eataly is the first large restaurant company in the country to commit to reducing the suffering of chickens used for meat.
Calling for a Ban on Cruel Breeding Practices
Our investigators in Italy ventured inside a chicken factory farm to collect the bodies of seven birds who had died there. We brought them to two specialised veterinarians who found that the breed of fast-growing chicks they were analysing reach up to six pounds in just seven weeks and suffer from numerous health conditions like pneumonia, heart attacks, and respiratory diseases. Because of their enormous size, the chicks are unable to walk or stand up and are susceptible to bone injuries. We’re demanding that the Italian Government, the Minister of Health, and the Minister for Agricultural Policies prohibit the use of chickens who have been selectively bred to grow so large and so fast that they spend their entire lives in agony.
TAKING ACTION FOR PIGS
We’re campaigning for pigs on factory farms who spend weeks on end confined in crates so small they can’t even turn around. Mother pigs are forced to lay on cold, wet floors unable to properly care for their young. And their babies endure tail cutting and ‘teeth clipping’ without anaesthesia within days of being born – a common practice in the meat industry.
New Jersey Bans Crates
As part of a coalition effort, Animal Equality helped secure multiple co-sponsors for legislation banning the crates used for pregnant pigs and piglets in New Jersey. The bill has until 2023 to pass and could impact future generations of pigs and piglets raised for their meat.
Mexico Investigation Reaches Millions
Our investigators in Mexico were determined to uncover the painful mutilations that pigs endure shortly after birth. The investigation, made possible with your support, was covered by some of the most important media outlets in the country and helped inform millions of people about the implications of meat consumption and encourage them to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets.
Spain Investigation Update: 2018 Complaint Goes to Court
In a significant step toward holding abusers accountable, our legal complaint against a pig farm in Spain and the meat company Cefusa will go to court. The independent expert witness, who inspected the farm after our complaint, urged the judge to close the farm due to the neglect and cruelty he witnessed. The investigation was featured in the most important television program of the country, Salvados, and showed pigs suffering from tumours and deformities, and in some instances, resorting to cannibalism. We will continue to expose and denounce animal abuse and bring those responsible to justice.
ELIMINATING CAGES FOR HENS
Hens spend their lives in cramped wire cages where they’re unable to move freely or even spread their wings. Due to the stress of confinement, many engage in self-mutilation and cannibalism. We’re pushing companies to eliminate the use of cages and provide enrichments like nest boxes, perches, and dust-bathing areas.
Cage Ban Passed in Hawaii
Animal Equality’s Legal Counsel testified in various legislative committee hearings to advance Hawaii’s battery cage ban legislation, leading to the bill’s unanimous passage in each committee. The legislation will outlaw the use of cages and prohibit the sales of eggs from hens kept in such conditions.
US Salad Chains Go Cage-Free
Animal Equality launched a campaign to help hens used for their eggs, chickens, and pigs, and focused on the following companies: Just Salad, Honegrow, Chopt, and Sweetgreen. With the pressure from our supporters, three out of four of these companies committed to cage-free and gestation crate-free policies.
Major Restaurant Brands Commit to Going Cage-Free
Thanks to your support, we’ve persuaded Unicomm group and all of the group’s brands along with Food Delivery Brands, The Cheesecake Factory, Bloomin’ Brands, and Panda Express to eliminate the use ofall other egg products from caged hens.
Spain Hotel Group to Eliminate Cages for Hens
After holding talks with Animal Equality, the hotel chain Vincci Hotels has committed to ensuring that 100% of the eggs consumed in all its hotels in Europe come from cage-free hens.
PROTECTING ANIMALS IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
Because of ineffective stunning methods, cows, pigs, and lambs are often killed while still conscious. In addition, chickens, turkeys, and other birds are often passed through an ineffective electrical water-bath stunning system, causing millions of chickens to be scalded alive every year.
Through our investigations, we’re raising public awareness about the cruel practices used in slaughterhouses worldwide and campaigning to spare millions of animals from unnecessary suffering.
Changing the Laws in Mexico City
Animal Equality presented an initiative to the Congress of Mexico City to consider the operation of unregulated slaughterhouses an act of cruelty against animals punishable by two to four years imprisonment.
Advancing Legal Protection for Animals in Hidalgo
Our legal team met with the Commission of Citizen Security and Justice and the Commission of Studies and Legislative Analysis of the Congress of Hidalgo in Mexico to discuss the urgency and necessity of providing a legal framework to protect animals from factory farms.
Jalisco ‘Without Cruelty’ Campaign Update
Animal Equality attended a Jalisco State Congress meeting with Congresswoman Gabriela Cárdenas to continue drafting legislation to include the first chapter of Animal Welfare in the State Animal Protection Law, made possible by our campaign. In Mexico, this is the first law initiative that explicitly addresses the protection of animals raised for consumption.
ENDING THE EXPLOITATION OF COWS
Cows raised and killed for dairy are repeatedly impregnated, then separated from their calves, throughout their entire lives until they are sent to slaughter when they are considered ‘unproductive’. Their calves will live in a small pen where they’re fed a milk replacer. If they are female, they will take the place of their mothers and be exploited for their milk. If they are male, they will be sent to slaughter and sold for meat.
Our investigations over the years have also uncovered abuse by workers worldwide, such as punching and kicking animals in the face and stomach. We’ll continue to raise awareness amongst the public and advocate for new legislation that holds abusers accountable.
UK Dairy Investigation Airs on BBC
Animal Equality released a shocking investigation inside Madox Farm, a dairy farm in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Our investigator documented workers kicking and punching cows in the face and stomach, twisting their tails, and hitting them with sharp metal shovels. In one instance, a pregnant cow was left to suffer and die after her baby died inside of her, despite a veterinarian’s recommendation for prompt euthanasia. At the time of filming, the farm supplied milk to Freshways, the UK’s largest dairy processor, whose products are distributed to major companies including Costa Coffee and British Airways. The footage aired on BBC One’s Panorama, one of the country’s most popular and long-standing television programs, and was seen by millions. In response, hundreds of people pledged publicly to stop consuming dairy.
Millions of fish live tightly packed inside aquafarms with high levels of ammonia and nitrates. They’re susceptible to bacterial infections and parasites that feed on their gills, organs, and blood. There are few legal protections for fish around the world and in the UK they can be killed by suffocation, electrocution, bludgeoning and decapitation.
We’re fighting for farmed fish by working with governments to reduce their suffering. And we’ll continue to investigate and document the conditions they endure inside fish farms and slaughterhouses to make sure that fish are not forgotten and receive the protections they deserve.
Calling For Stronger Legal Protections For Farmed Fish
In the United Kingdom, up to 70 million fish are farmed and killed each year. Despite clear scientific evidence that fish experience pain and other feelings, they lack the most basic of legal protections. In collaboration with the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and Advocates for Animals, Animal Equality released a new report calling for stronger legal protections and enforcement measures to eliminate some of the worst abuses of fish at slaughter in the UK, including stunning before slaughter and mandatory CCTV in all abattoirs. The Times covered the report, once again putting farmed fish in the national spotlight.
FOR CREATING A BETTER WORLD FOR ANIMALS
The progress must continue. Join Animal Equality’s incredible team of digital activists – Animal Protectors – today to help support our work for animals throughout the year and keep pushing progress forward.