YOUR 2022 IMPACT FOR ANIMALS
In just six months, you’ve achieved outstanding accomplishments for animals.
In February, you watched as Animal Equality´s investigators exposed workers in a British dairy farm beating and kicking cows to millions of viewers. Days later, newspapers in Britain announced a decrease in dairy consumption after the 30-minute program stunned an entire country. The bravery and courage of our undercover investigators and your support make the end of dairy a reality.
In June, you proudly celebrated as members of the Congress of Hidalgo voted to pass the first-ever chapter of a Mexican state law to protect farmed animals. Once again, your vision of a world without animal cruelty combined with our powerful investigations and tireless legal work was the reason behind such a breakthrough for animals in the country.
You applauded as the Italian Senatepassed a ban on male chick killing, a practice that ends the lives of 35 million baby chicks every year in Italy. Our efforts are now a worldwide campaign thanks to your support. Together we’ve impacted 45 million chickens in Brazil and Italy in the first half of 2022.
It’s been said that one human with courage makes a majority.
Your courage to defend animals strengthens us and inspires us to continue working for them and invite others to treat animals with kindness.
And there are still six months ahead.
With you by our side, we know we can achieve what others deem impossible.
IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
Together, we’ve made significant strides to help animals in 2022. With your determination and support, we’re tackling some of the most pressing issues impacting animals. Your actions have helped advocate for mother pigs trapped in crates, spotlight the plight of chickens, expose the dairy industry’s practices, and more.
Every campaign we launch is instrumental in improving the lives of chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses worldwide. With each petition signature, we gain public support that allows us to persuade key decision-makers to introduce 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 even closing factory farms and convicting animal abusers.
ENDING FACTORY FARMING
Cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals spend their lives trapped inside factory farms to produce dairy, meat, and eggs. Packed into windowless sheds, mother pigs live in crates so small they can’t turn around. Chickens live amongst their own waste, struggle to walk or stand, and suffer chronic pain. Cows endure forced impregnation and separation from their calves. And hens are confined to tiny cages, unable to spread their wings.
The animals living on factory farms can’t even see the sunlight, breathe fresh air, or move freely and are subject to abuse from workers without consequence.
Increasing Animal Protections in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Animal Equality in Brazil and Eurogroup organized a conference with key decision makers to discuss the negative impacts of the European Union’s Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will define the trade relations between the EU and some Latin American countries and that doesn’t currently include any guidelines on the treatment of animals.
Among the issues discussed, participants debated the need to engage civil society organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in decisions related to the FTA, such as the subsidies granted to the animal production industry, the use of natural resources by the animal agriculture industry, and topics related to One Health. This concept addresses animal health and environmental balance as essential to human health.
Participants also urged members of the European Commission to increase transparency in animal-based products’ supply chains and to foster the transition to a plant-based food system.
Germany Calling for an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare
Animal Equality in Germany is part of the #EUforAnimals campaign calling for the appointment of an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare. This appointment would ensure a permanent person in the EU Commission for issues related to animal protection that would be responsible for acting on violations.
181 Members of the European Parliament from different countries and political groups support the demand, including 11 from Germany. Over 175,000 European citizens have already signed the petition for the #EUforAnimals campaign.
Ending the Sale of Live Animals at Markets in India
As a part of its legal advocacy efforts, Animal Equality shared its dairy, egg, chicken, and fish farms investigations with the Government of India. The report includes a list of demands to protect these animals and reduce their suffering. We’re also asking for the formation of a committee to monitor the treatment of animals and to stop the sale of live animals at meat markets. Currently, no health inspections are conducted at live markets, so the conditions are unacceptable and unsanitary and can spread disease.
BANNING THE FORCE-FEEDING OF DUCKS AND GEESE
We’re helping ducks and geese by ending the practice of force-feeding used to produce foie gras that not only causes a great deal of pain and stress for the animals but also causes suffering 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.
Protecting Ducks and Geese in the US
Animal Equality launched a campaign calling for a complete ban on the sale and production of foie gras in the US. Over 50,000 people have already signed the petition in support of a nationwide ban since February.
We’re working to introduce local and state legislation to ban force-feeding and the sale of foie gras, 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.
Spain Speaks Out Against Foie Gras
Animal Equality investigated seven foie gras farms in Spain—including the farm of the then president of the foie gras industry—and launched a foie gras campaign. As a result, one of the farms closed, and we are now calling on the government to ban force-feeding, a cruel practice that one million ducks and geese are subjected to every year. The letter addressed to the Government and the European Commission has already received more than 80,000 signatures of support.
Spanish actress and animal rights activist Sara Sálamo lends her voice to the campaign video. We’ve also held two demonstrations in Madrid, with one in front of the city’s top restaurant known for its foie gras dish.
Banning Cruel Force-Feeding 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. Our petition has already received over 25 thousand signatures supporting the ban.
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF CHICKENS
Chickens are 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 persuade companies and lawmakers to establish protections for chickens and end the breeding of chickens genetically selected to grow unnaturally large in just a few weeks which results in painful health problems.
First Latin American Commitment to Ban the Killing of Male Chicks
After negotiations with Animal Equality, Mantiqueira, South America’s largest egg producer, became the first Latin American company to commit to stop buying eggs from hatcheries that kill male chicks deemed worthless for their inability to lay eggs and because they can’t be raised for meat. We’re working to introduce technologies in Brazil to identify the sex of the chick during the incubation period. With Animal Equality’s help, Mantiqueira’s commitment will spare seven million male chicks a year.
Historic Victory for Male Chicks in Italy
In 2020, Animal Equality in Italy launched the ‘Stop the Slaughter of Male Chicks’ campaign, supported by more than 110,000 people.
As a result, a historic vote has ended the mass slaughter of male chicks in Italy. By 2026, the Italian government will have to introduce measures to prevent the systematic killing of chicks. Between 25 and 40 million chicks’ lives will be spared annually.
The Cruelty of Fast Growing Chicken Breeds Exposed
Animal Equality investigators inspected a fast-growing chicken farm in Italy. These chickens are bred to grow 400 percent faster and suffer from numerous health conditions like heart attacks and pneumonia. Because of their unnatural size, the chicks are unable to walk or stand up, and their bones break easily. Our investigators also documented filth, overcrowding, serious diseases, and dozens of dead chickens on the factory farm. Currently, 99 percent of chickens raised for food have been genetically selected to grow as fast as possible, and these chickens endure disastrous repercussions on their health.
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.
Lawsuit Filed Against Large Chicken Producer
Animal Equality filed a lawsuit against a Foster Farms hatchery in California. Legal action was taken when local law enforcement failed to respond to our 2021 undercover investigation, which revealed baby chicks being crushed, drowned, and mutilated. The hatchery breeds roughly 3.3 million chicks for Foster Farms weekly.
We’re seeking a court order prohibiting Foster Farms from continuing unlawful business practices and requiring the company to establish policies and procedures that protect the baby chicks at the hatchery investigated from unnecessary injury, suffering, and death.
Supermarket Chain Adopts the European Chicken Commitment
Eroski, the Spanish supermarket chain, has announced its commitment to improve the lives of chickens and will implement the measures in more than 1,000 food stores in Spain. This is a decision that will impact 18 million chickens annually.
TAKING ACTION FOR PIGS
We’re campaigning for pigs on factory farms who spend their entire lives confined in crates so small they can’t even turn around or care for their young properly. The workers cut the piglets’ tails, teeth, and testicles without anesthesia within days of being born—a common practice in the industry.
Zema Slaughterhouse Owner Held Accountable for Abuse
Animal Equality in Italy filed two complaints with the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Cremona against workers and owners abusing pigs at the Zema Srl slaughterhouse. The investigation we released in 2021 showed them beating pigs with sticks and shovels, slamming a pig against the wall, and ineffectively stunning them before slaughter, leaving them still conscious.
The owner of the company faced charges for his actions. After one year and two hearings, the judge of the Court of Cremona put the owner on probation. In addition, he was required to pay Animal Equality and other animal protection organizations roughly $10,000.
Investigation Update: 2018 Complaint Goes to Court
In a significant step toward holding abusers accountable, Animal Equality’s 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.
Investigation in Mexico 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.
Currently, in the state of Jalisco, animals are not protected while breeding on farms. Animal Equality will continue drafting legislation to include the first chapter of Animal Welfare in the State Animal Protection Law, similar to the one passed in Hidalgo. If approved, it will benefit more than 230 million animals.
ELIMINATING CAGES FOR HENS
Hens spend their lives in cramped wire cages where they can’t move freely and 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 crucial to their well-being like nest boxes, perches, and dust-bathing areas. This is a crucial step to reducing the suffering of these animals and increasing their protection. No animal should have to spend their entire life in a cage.
Arizona Commits to Eliminating Cages
Arizona became the 10th state to ban the sale and production of eggs from caged hens in April. Animal Equality’s supporters submitted public comments supporting the ban as part of a coalition effort with other organizations. It’s estimated that seven million hens will be able to spread their wings and have better lives when the new ban is implemented in 2025.
PROTECTING ANIMALS IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES
Because of improper stunning methods, cows, pigs, and lambs are often killed while still conscious. Chickens, turkeys, and other birds are passed through an ineffective electrical water-bath stunning system, causing hundreds of millions of chickens to be scalded alive yearly.
Through our investigations, we’re raising public awareness about practices used in slaughterhouses worldwide and campaigning to spare these animals from unnecessary suffering.
Stopping the Self Regulation of Slaughterhouses in Brazil
Animal Equality launched a campaign against the so-called Livestock’s Self-Control bill introduced by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. The bill is aimed at reducing government oversight inside the food industry and will directly affect how animals are treated in slaughterhouses. We investigated three slaughterhouses to demonstrate how animals already suffer within the food supply chain despite regulation.
The bill was approved at the Agricultural Chamber and will be sent to the President to be sanctioned. Still, Animal Equality, other animal protection organizations, and the Association of Inspectors sent three open letters to the Senate. Due to this mobilization and media coverage, 27 Senators filed a demand for the bill to be voted on in a plenary session. These Senators also filed a request to allow Animal Equality and other organizations to present the impacts of the bill to the Senate that will be voted on soon.
Hidalgo Becomes the First State in Mexico to Protect Farmed Animals
As a result of our investigations, the Congress of the State of Hidalgo has unanimously approved an initiative to modify the Law for the Protection and Dignified Treatment of Animals and the Criminal Code. This makes Hidalgo the first state in Mexico to dedicate an entire chapter of a law to protect farmed animals. In addition, it will criminalize animal cruelty in slaughterhouses.
The killing of conscious animals and the operation of unregulated slaughterhouses will be considered a crime and result in sentences of up to four years in prison and fines. It also includes a chapter on minimum standards for animals on farms. These reforms now protect nearly 50 million pigs, cows, chickens, hens, lambs, and other animals.
ENDING THE EXPLOITATION OF COWS
Cows raised and killed for dairy products suffer from forced impregnation and separation from their calves throughout their lives before being sent to slaughter. Their calves will live alone in a small hut where they’re fed a milk replacer diet, and their newly developed horns are burnt off without painkillers.
Our investigations have uncovered workers’ abuse, 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.
Dairy Investigation Watched by Over 7 Million Viewers
Animal Equality released an 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. At the time of filming, the farm supplied 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.
The response was huge, with hundreds of people pledging publicly to stop drinking dairy. Data gathered from the popular dating app Veggly show that 35% of the UK’s ‘vegetarian’ users have switched to ‘vegan’ since the investigation aired. There has also been a 40% increase in new vegan users.
Alongside the investigation, we launched a petition calling for a licensing system to be put in place for farms and slaughterhouses. This will only allow farms that successfully pass regular and thorough inspections to operate. The petition has been signed by over 66,000 people so far.
Promoting Plant-Based Cheese and Milk to Save Cows
Animal Equality launched a Love Veg campaign to save cows and calves by inviting people to leave milk and cheese off their plates. In a recipe book with 29 recipes to live without dairy, we’ve helped more than 32,000 people switch to plant-based alternatives. With this and other efforts, Love Veg has helped more than 278,000 animals in Mexico this year.
Actress Miriam Margolyes Asks Consumers to Ditch Dairy
Award-winning British-Australian actress Miriam Margoyles has joined Animal Equality’s campaign to help cows and calves who suffer in the dairy industry. Launched via The Independent, it calls on the UK Government to move subsidies away from the dairy industry and towards plant-based alternatives like oat milk and soy milk and to support farmers in making the transition.
Millions of fishes live tightly packed inside aquatic factory farms 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, electrocution, and decapitation.
We’re fighting for farmed fish by working with companies to reduce their suffering. And we’ll continue to investigate and document the conditions they endure inside fish farms and slaughterhouses to eliminate consumer deception around “humanely-farmed fish.”
Mandatory Inspections of Fish Slaughterhouses Introduced In Scotland
The Scottish government has introduced mandatory inspections in salmon slaughterhouses following Animal Equality’s investigation into The Scottish Salmon Company that uncovered fish having their gills cut while still conscious and being clubbed by workers and left to suffocate.
Animal Equality is now pushing for mandatory surveillance cameras and for the footage to be made available to the public for scrutiny, with our legal advocacy campaign garnering media coverage in mainstream publications, including The Times.
PROMOTING A PLANT-BASED DIET
Animal Equality includes strong diet change messaging in all our publications. This includes encouraging our readers to transition to a plant-based diet and directing pages and news articles to our Love Veg website, which has easy recipes and helpful tips on transitioning to inspire people to give plant-based foods a try.
In Italy, Animal Equality published the Save a Lamb campaign before the Easter holiday. We developed a heartwarming video filmed at an animal sanctuary with Bruno Bozzetto, an Italian cartoonist and film director, and Andrea Capodanno, a famous vegan influencer with over 200,000 followers, to encourage people to adopt a plant-based diet and show them how affectionate and sociable lambs are.
The film also includes a conversation between Bozzetto and Capodanno about how easy it is to renew traditions. It was covered by key Italian media such as la Repubblica and HuffPost Italia.
And in Spain, we launched a series of publications to encourage Spaniards to drop dairy and choose delicious dairy-free alternatives.
Our Love Veg Program
Love Veg is Animal Equality’s signature plant-based program, inspiring millions worldwide to leave animals off their plates.
Celebrities Endorse the 21-Day Plant-Powered Challenge
In India, a number of celebrities have joined Animal Equality to promote plant-based foods, including Aaditi Pohankar and Prithivi Hatte. They have created videos on YouTube that have been seen by thousands.
Getting Started Guidance
Since launching Love Veg Mexico in 2015, previously named Discover Your Food from 2015-2018, more than one million people have joined us. We welcome everyone with an introductory series of emails and then continue to share content for an entire year to provide our readers with the knowledge and support needed to transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
Starting in 2021, Love Veg began calculating the number of animals saved by the project based on the consumption per capita and the 12 months we engaged this audience. Since tracking this metric, Animal Equality has spared 331,208 animals with Love Veg Mexico.
Over 216,000 people have joined us in the last three months and helped 110,000 animals with this signature program.
Our work was featured in Mimosa Magazine, Quadratin México, Tijuana Informativo, Hoja de Ruta Digital, and Crónica Jalisco.
None of these results are possible without your support and generous donations—but there’s still more work to be done. Join Animal Equality today to help animals throughout the year and keep pushing progress forward.