THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING
In only three months, you’ve changed the lives of 22 million animals!
I’m so grateful for advocates like you who protect animals from the powerful meat 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 in factory farms. Images from a dairy farm in the United Kingdom were broadcast on the BBC and reached millions of viewers convincing many to ditch dairy. Your efforts convinced 18 global food companies to reduce the suffering of 1.2 million hens and 20 million chickens by adopting new policies that would eliminate cages and allow the animals to spread their wings. And so many more achievements to celebrate!
Your passion continues to inspire our global team to keep fighting for progress. As we move forward, I’m both honored 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 action campaigns. 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 gestation crates, spotlight the abuse of chickens, and expose the dairy industry’s cruel practices, and 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 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 on social media you’re helping to create awareness around animal suffering and hold the abusers accountable. These actions lead to changes in company policies, legal reforms, and sometimes even facility closures.
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 world for animals.
ENDING FACTORY FARMING
Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals spend their lives trapped inside factory farms where they’re treated as machines used to produce dairy, meat, and eggs. Packed into windowless sheds, pigs live in crates so small they’re unable to turn around. Chickens live amongst their own waste and struggle to walk or stand from genetic breeding. Cows endure forced impregnation and separation from their young. And hens are confined to small cages unable to spread their wings.
The animals living on factory farms lack an environment where they can perform their most natural activities and are subject to abuse from workers without consequence. We’re fighting for animals inside factory farms through our investigations in an effort to educate the public on what the industry keeps hidden. We’re sitting down at the table with government officials to create new laws to hold abusers accountable. And we’re encouraging companies to change existing policies and create new ones that protect animals from unnecessary suffering. All of our actions are important steps toward eliminating factory farming permanently.
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 anesthesia.
- 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 about animals. At the reception, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs pledged to consider an amendment on animal welfare issues, including cages for hens by conducting a public inquiry. 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 Carla Lettieri was invited to meet with the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and representatives of animal protection organizations, specialists, and celebrities and 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 aggressive action by the Brazilian government is needed.
Preventing the Rollback of Animal Protections
Animal Equality and other organizations sent a letter to the President of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies, and the Minister of Ecological Transition. In our letter, we addressed The European Commission’s proposal to provide 548 million dollars in financial support to farmers, relax environmental protections under the Common Agriculture Policy, and extend some key actions of the Green Deal. We urged the officials to avoid stepping backward on animal protections.
Fighting Back Against Misleading Labels
We protested in Rome against the new guidelines on food labeling 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 labeling 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 the tail of piglets without anesthesia will not be labeled as “animal welfare.”
Eliminating Cages in the European Union
Animal Equality launched the second phase of the End the Cage Age campaign that calls on the European Union to eliminate cages on farms by 2027. Animal Equality and more than 170 other organizations gathered over 1.6 million signatures of support. Our teams in Italy, Spain, and Germany demanded their respective governments support the ban on cages.
Encouraging a Plant-Based Diet
Animal Equality expanded its LoveVeg campaign to Latin America 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 practice of force-feeding used to produce foie gras. The practice of force-feeding not only causes a great deal of pain and stress for the animals but they also suffer from injuries, infections, and ruptured organs.
We’re determined to permanently ban force-feeding with a strategic approach. In the US, we’re campaigning state by state and working with state and local governments to ban its sale and production. And in countries where production is already banned, we’re working to eliminate 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 tons 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 the most consumed animal worldwide. They’re kept in dim, windowless sheds, forced to live in their own waste, and bred to grow so fast that they experience painful leg deformities and heart attacks.
We’re working to get new chicken welfare policies established that specify welfare criteria for chickens grown for meat that includes more humane slaughter methods, greater environmental standards like better air quality, and the use of breeds that are less likely to experience painful health problems.
US Salad Chains Go Cage and Crate-Free
Animal Equality launched a salad chain campaign to help pigs, chickens, and hens at ten of the top salad chains in the U.S. We are pleased to report that this initiative garnered six policies from Just Salad, Honeygrow, Chopt, and Sweetgreen whose revenue totals over half a billion dollars per year. With the help of our supporters, we continue to pressure the remaining companies to do better for animals.
Large Italian Food Retailer Commits to Change
Following discussions with Animal Equality and other animal protection organizations, 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 to commit to drastically reducing the suffering of chickens used for meat.
Calling for a Ban on Cruel Breeding Practices
Our investigators in Italy infiltrated a chicken factory farm to collect the bodies of seven birds who had died there. We brought them to two specialized veterinarians who analyzed them and found that fast-growing chicks 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 breeding animals genetically selected to grow so large and so fast that they spend their entire lives suffering.
TAKING ACTION FOR PIGS
Pigs on factory farms spend their entire lives 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 castration without anesthesia within days of being born—a common practice in the industry. We’re advocating for pigs by targeting the cruel practice of gestation crates and calling for changes to existing welfare policies and the development of new ones.
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 calves in New Jersey. The bill has until 2023 to pass and could impact future generations of pigs and calves 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 in the country and helped educate millions of people on the implications of meat consumption and encourage them to reduce or eliminate meat from their plates.
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 tumors, deformities, and in some instances, 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 and spread their wings. Due to the stress of confinement, many engage in self-mutilation and cannibalism.
We’re advocating for hens by pushing companies to eliminate the use of cages and provide enrichments crucial to their wellbeing 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 for hens and prohibit their sale.
Major Restaurant Brands Commit to Going Cage-Free
Thanks to your support, we’ve achieved cage-free policies from Unicomm Group and four other major companies in Italy. Unicomm group and all of the group’s brands along with Food Delivery Brands, The Cheesecake Factory, Bloomin’ Brands, and Panda Express committed to eliminating shell, liquid, and all 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 percent of the eggs consumed in all its hotels in Europe come from cage-free hens. The commitment will positively impact the lives of 21,450 hens per year.
PROTECTING ANIMALS IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
Animals inside slaughterhouses lack any kind of protection. Because of improper stunning methods, cows, pigs, and lambs are often killed while still conscious. Chickens, turkeys, and other birds are passed through an electrical water-bath stunning system that isn’t 100 percent effective. And millions of chickens are scalded alive every year.
Through our investigations, we’re raising public awareness about cruel practices used in slaughterhouses worldwide. Additionally, we’re asking governments to improve the welfare of animals in slaughterhouses by ending slaughter without stunning and installing surveillance cameras.
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 Protections 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 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 products suffer from forced impregnation and separation from their calves throughout the duration of their lives before being sent to slaughter. Their calves will live alone in a small hutch where they’re fed a diet of milk replacer and their newly developed horns are burnt off without painkillers.
Our investigations have 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 a dairy farm in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, Madox Farm. 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. The farm supplies milk to Freshways, the UK’s largest dairy processor, whose products are distributed to major companies. The footage aired on BBC One’s Panorama, one of the country’s biggest television programs, and was seen by millions of viewers. In response, hundreds of people pledged publicly to stop drinking dairy.
FIGHTING FOR FISH
Millions of fish live tightly packed inside aquafarms with high levels of ammonia and nitrates. They’re susceptible to bacterial infections and parasitic infestations that feed on their gills, organs, and blood. There are no legal protections for fish and they’re killed by suffocation when left out of the water, carbon dioxide, electrocution, and decapitation.
We’re fighting for farmed fish by working with companies to establish minimum welfare standards. And we’ll continue to investigate and document the suffering they endure inside fish farms and slaughterhouses to eliminate consumer deception around “humanely-farmed fish.”
Calling For Stronger Legal Protections For Farmed Fish
In the United Kingdom, up to 70 million fish are farmed and killed each year. Yet, despite mounting scientific evidence that fish feel pain and joy, they lack the most basic 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. The Times covered the report, once again putting farmed fish in the national spotlight.
Mandatory Inspections of Fish Slaughterhouses
The Scottish government has introduced mandatory inspections in salmon slaughterhouses. This is a result of a 2021 Animal Equality investigation where we uncovered fish having their gills cut while still conscious and being clubbed by workers and left to suffocate. We sent a letter to the Animal Welfare Committee calling for regular and unannounced inspections and mandatory surveillance cameras available for public scrutiny.
FOR CREATING A BETTER WORLD FOR ANIMALS
Join Animal Equality today to help animals throughout the year and keep pushing progress forward.